Over P22-M projects to boost livelihood of Bicol fisherfolk

By Connie Calipay

December 6, 2023, 8:24 pm

LEGAZPI CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-5 (Bicol) on Wednesday said more than PHP22 million worth of projects have been turned over to fisherfolk in the provinces of Catanduanes, Camarines Sur and Albay.

In an interview, Rowena Briones, BFAR-Bicol spokesperson, said the projects aimed to increase fish production and strengthen sustainable fisheries in the region.

"The initiatives were distributed during the visit of our National Director Demosthenes R. Escoto last week. For Catanduanes, the groundbreaking of the village-level Mangrove Crab Hatchery and Sanctuary in Barangay Agojo, San Andres with an approved budget of PHP6 million, was held. The establishment of the project is expected to enhance the sustainable production of mangrove crabs in the province," Briones said.

She said the project would contribute to the restoration of mangrove crab resources and create economic opportunities for local communities.

"For Camarines Sur, awarded to the Sagñay Tuna Fishers Association was a 62-footer tuna handline fishing boat amounting to PHP6.5 million. It will improve the fishing capacity and production efficiency of municipal fisherfolk, increase the production of small pelagics and tuna from the municipal subsector, and advance the fisherfolk's capability in the organization, operation, and management of Fisherfolk Associations and Cooperatives to help them become sustainable," she said.

Briones added that a groundbreaking ceremony was held for the construction of a fry holding facility at the Multi-Species Hatchery in Barangay Patitinan, Sagñay worth PHP2.3 million.

"The establishment of the fry holding facility will enhance the efficiency of the milkfish value chain, contributing to the fry requirements of Bicol in the realization of President Bongbong Marcos’ directive to increase fish production by ten percent," she said.

In Tiwi, Albay, 10 units of 30-footer and one unit of 62-footer fiberglass boats worth PHP813,245.90 were awarded to fisherfolk groups, apart from a 62-footer fiberglass tuna handline fishing boat worth PHP6.5 million that was given to the Tiwi Tuna Fishers Association. (PNA)