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Philippines Eye Seven Per Cent Fisheries Growth

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PHILIPPINES - The Philippine government expects fisheries production to grow faster this year than in the past two years, the head of the Fisheries bureau yesterday said.

According to Business World, recurring, successive increase in the prices of fuel, which accounts for as much as 70 per cent of fishing operation costs, could still put a dent on the government’s projections. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), an agency attached to the Agriculture department, projects a seven per cent fisheries output growth this year, up from the 5.78 per cent rise recorded last year and 6.8 per cent growth in 2007, BFAR Director Malcolm I. Sarmiento, Jr., said in a phone interview with Business World yesterday.

Value of fisheries production rose to P85.328 billion last year from P80.661 billion in 2007, data from the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) showed.

Production growth target this year has been set at 10 per cent-12 per cent for aquaculture, four per cent for commercial fisheries and four per cent for municipal fisheries.

"Much of the growth would have to come from aquaculture, particularly from mariculture," Mr. Sarmiento told the news organisation, adding that his bureau was still wary of another round of huge increases in fuel prices this year.