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DA wants Guimaras to be fisheries hub

THE PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources will develop Guimaras as a fisheries hub following the launching of a P5 million coral garden project in Nueva Valencia town and P5 million worth of aquaculture livelihood projects next month.

The project is part of the Department of Agriculture thrust of raising the fisheries sector's output, a government press release said.

The DA said that more funds will be allocated for the fisheries subsector this year to bankroll hunger mitigation programs as well as production enhancement projects that would help sustain its impressive performance in 2007, create more jobs and raise incomes of small fisherfolk. BFAR Director Malcolm Sarmiento said additional funding will be given to various BFAR offices nationwide, including its 16 regional offices and seven fishermen's training centers.

Meanwhile, the DA also reported that the country's seaweed industry contributed 71 percent of the whole aquaculture output and generated total revenues of some US$72,000.00 in 2005. Seaweed production grew by 11 percent, with production estimated at 1.34 million metric tons or 185,000 metric tons dry weight in 2005, the press release said.

Source: Daily Star