Farmers Set Up Fish Cages as Fish Catch Declines in Quirino

7 August 2012, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - To address the dwindling fish catch from communal bodies of water in the province, some irrigator- associations in the municipalities of Diffun, Cabarroguis, and Maddela have started farming of tilapia in cages.

Three irrigator-associations, namely, Pusuac Irrigators Association in Diffun, Dumabato Sur Pump Operators Association in Maddela, and the Villa Delsan in Cabarroguis were identified as initial beneficiaries of the project.

Florence Mangoba, senior agriculturist of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPAg) said fish catch from the rivers and creeks is getting smaller because of dramatic decline of natural fish stocks caused by increased fishing pressure and the increase in fish consumption.

The only alternative to address this situation is to farm fishes in captivity or engaging into aquaculture activity that is adaptable to climate change, Ms Mangoba said.

To ensure good start and sustainability of the fish cage farming, series of trainings on fish cage design, actual construction of cages and management were conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Regional Fisheries Training Center (BFAR-RFTC), Aparri and the agriculture office here.

The fish farmers were taught about sustainable and environment-friendly aquaculture practices, proper method and techniques employed in the design, construction and installation of fish cages as well as operation of tilapia fish cages, Ms Mangoba said.

The fisheries bureau provided all netting materials, fingerlings, and feeds and the beneficiaries provided the needed bamboos and frames for the cages.

Pusuac IA was given five units of 5m x 10m x2.5 cm fish cages; Dumabato Sur, two units and Villa Delsan, one unit.

The fish cages will be managed by the said associations and to be technically assisted by the fishery extension officers of the BFAR and the OPAg. The proceeds will be utilized by the associations for the succeeding culture periods for the projects sustainable production and as income generating project of the associations.