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BFAR: Teach Fishermen to Become Fish Farmers

PHILIPPINES - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Director Juan D Albaladejo urged the fishery technicians to teach fishermen to become fish farmers not just fishers.

This he pronounced in his address to some 45 fisheries technicians who attended the Retooling of LGU-Fisheries Technicians sponsored by BFAR RO 8, BFAR-Samar and BFAR-Regional Fishery Training Center at the Samar State University (SSU) Mercedes, Campus today.

Although Albaledejo admitted that there are some problems in the fishery sector partly due to overfishing, climate change and high cost of fuel still he announced that during the first quarter of the year, fishery in the region posted a growth rate of 10.7%.

He attributed 60% of which to aqua culture.

Presently, he said that there are 15 locators (investors) in mari culture, most are found in the San Juanico area near Tacloban City.

Samar fisherfolks, he added must be taught to become fish farmers by engaging in aquaculture, seaweeds and mollusk farming.

Small fisherfolks will also be taught to develop mangrove nurseries, seaweeds production, marine fish cages and even fish processing, added BFAR RFTC 8 Training Director Norberto Berida.

BFAR Fishery Officer Rolando Ay-ay also added that they had employed fish seeding in the rivers and other water forms of Samar.

As to the destructive modes of fishing, the full implementation of the Municipal Fishery Ordinance (MFO) in all Samar towns is expected to address the problem.

As to rising fuel cost, Berida said that they advise small fisherfolks to sail to the fishing grounds using 'sail' or layag.

It is only when they had done with fishing will they use their 3 or 5 HP motorboats, he offered.

Another suggestion is to organize all fisherfolks and request fuel subsidy from the national government as enjoyed by the transport sector, said one speaker Cylet Lluz.

Despite the odds in fishery, Albaladejo seems not to run out of ideas to boost the fishery industry.

His team is also trying to address the dying mussel industry due to pollution and siltation.

He stressed that mussel stakes should be spaced enough for sea-water to wash out whatever impurities seem to stagnate.

Another technology, the raft method said to be originally developed by Gerardo Malinao is now being adapted by most fisherfolks.

All things considered, the fishery experts are bent on providing fish or marine products in the market for human consumption.