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Fisheries Sector Expected To Grow

PHILIPPINES - The fisheries sector is expected to grow between five to seven per cent in 2010, a slight improvement over the projected three per cent growth for 2009.

Speaking with the ThePhilippineStar, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Malcom Sarmiento said preliminary figures indicate a growth of two to three per cent for the fisheries sub-sector last year.

Mr Sarmiento said this was the result of the damage to the fisheries sector (particularly the aquaculture sub-sector which contributes 45 per cent to the output of the fisheries sector) caused by the series of devastating typhoons towards the end of last year.

Apart from the aquaculture sub-sector, Mr Sarmiento said, production output from municipal and commercial fishery also declined last year.

The municipal sub-sector contributes about 30 per cent of total fishery production, while the commercial contributes only five per cent. Commercial fishery output, Mr Sarmiento said, has been on the decline as local fishermen have to go further out to catch pelagic fishes.

For this year, Mr Sarmiento said the target growth of five to seven per cent is based on a 10 per cent expansion in the aquaculture – specifically mariculture sub-sector, a five per cent growth in municipal fisheries and just a three per cent growth for commercial fisheries.

Mr Sarmiento said, the BFAR expects a lower rate of approval of new mariculture parks. At present, there are 46 existing mariculture parks all over the country.

For this year, the BFAR plans to approve only around 10 more mariculture parks.

“We are aiming more for quality, rather than quantity,” Mr Sarmiento said, adding that the BFAR is aiming for more integrated mariculture parks that would include processing and logistical support services such as refrigeration.

the Fish Site Editor

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