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Mariculture Aims to Save Coastal Incomes

PHILIPPINES - Sorsogon's provincial government has introduced a marine culture venture to help fishermen who's businesses have been devastated by a 'red tide' infesting Sorsogon Bay.

The province has lost its P10-million a year mussel industry due to algal blooms in the bay and the fishermen face hardship. According to Futures and Commodity Market News, Vice-governor Renato Laurinaria said that the provincial legislative board had already passed the resolution allocating P3 million that would be loaned out as starting capital for mariculture ventures to organized fishermen's groups in barangays along the coastlines of Sorsogon Bay.

These groups will engage in fish caging whose technology, although patterned from the modern method being adopted by Japan will use indigenous materials that are friendly to marine life, said Laurinaria, who authored the resolution.

High value commercial fish, prawns and crabs that are all abundant at Sorsogon Bay and not prone to red tide contamination are the marine species to be cultured through this venture, he said.

Both the international and domestic markets would readily absorb the produce of the initiative and "we are optimistic, it be another dollar earner for the country," Laurinaria said.

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Ellen Hardy

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