BFAR gives P4-M fishing equipment to Sulu island town

January 6, 2012 11:50 pm 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, Jan. 6 — The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently provided several fishing equipment and patrol boat engines worth P4 million to the fishermen and local officials in Banguingui, an island-municipality in Sulu.

BFAR director Asis Perez said the initiative is part of President Benigno Aquino III’s continuing efforts to improve the lives of Sulu folks, who are mostly fishermen, by providing them needed logistics and technical assistance.

Perez led a simple turnover ceremony of the fishing paraphernalia last Friday to Banguingui municipal officials led by Mayor Abdulwahid Sahidulla.

Handed over to Sahidulla were 28 units of 16-horse power motor engines for ‘Bantay-Dagat’ patrol boats, 10 units of shallow water payao, 200 units of seaweed farm materials, and an ice-making machine.

Perez said the residents of Banguingui town could make the Sulu Sea more productive for their economic benefit with proper resource management and intensified coastal protection.

Perez noted that Sulu sea could serve as the country's largest natural hatchery since it harbors millions of fry and fingerlings of commercially-important fish and crustaceans.

“The Sulu Sea could supply the needs of the growing number of fish cage operators, considering that there are now more than 60 mariculture parks established by the DA-BFAR, in partnership with local government units (LGUs), private sector, and fisherfolk organizations nationwide,” he added.

He said BFAR continues to teach fisherfolk on sustainable ways of gathering fish fry and fingerlings from the wild.

Sahidulla said the fishing equipment given them by BFAR will complement the fishery-related projects they are implementing in the municipality.

The projects include shallow water payao, sea ranching, seaweed farming, shallow water fixed cages, pen cages, floating cages and aqua-tourism, Sahidulla said.

The municipality Banguingui, formerly known as Tongkil, is composed of 14 barangays with 17 islands and islets.

Perez said the BFAR will continue to provide technical experts to assist local government units, particularly in developing and implementing livelihood projects and sustainable coastal resource protection and management initiatives.

Perez led a five-day patrol last week on selected areas in Sulu and Visayan Seas, which currently observes a three-month closed season for sardines. (PNA)

LAP/LAM/Teofilo P. Garcia/mec

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