Mariculture parks: grouper cages and seaweed ropes. (Photo: BFAR/FIS)
New mariculture park will allow locals to grow lucrative fish species
Tuesday, January 03, 2012, 15:40 (GMT + 9)
The federal government and the municipal government of Siasi, Sulu are putting together a 30-ha mariculture park. It will contain 40 4mx4m fish cages in which residents will be able to grow high-value fish species.
“Our local government officials here expressed belief that the park could help our fisherfolk and other sectors in the community in their search for a decent earning to feed their respective families,” Mayor Arthur Muksan said.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said it spent PHP 2.4 million (USD 54,538) to build 32 fish cages. Muksan said his government gave about PHP 1.5 million (USD 34,086).
Siasi’s municipal government provided amenities including the mooring system, the floating multipurpose hall, fingerlings and service boats. In addition, an agri-tourism project was introduced in Tara Island.
“The partnership between the local government of Siasi and the BFAR involves our Muslim brothers who had long been deprived of benefiting the most from the richness of their coastal waters,” said BFAR Director Asis Perez in a statement, Business Mirror reports.
“The Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) and Mimaropa had consistently been the top two fish-producing regions in the country. However, the two regions received the least budgetary support for the past many years,” Perez added.
Additional counterpart funds are originating from the local government. Perez said BFAR will initially provide 100 sets of ropes and floaters to kick off the farming of seaweeds in Tara Island while the local government will provide for the seaweed propagules.
Moreover, Perez told that in order to boost their coastal protection programme, the Bureau will supply motor engines for the same number of banca to be provided by the local government.
He pointed out that a high amount of expensive fish locally caught is dried, which reduces its volume and also the price of the fish. BFAR will thus provide a mini-ice maker to help local fishers keep their catch fresh for longer.
BFAR Mariculture Specialist Perfecto I Orbita said BFAR is creating mariculture parks nationwide to foster the propagation of high-value fish species, like groupers, red snappers, sea cucumber, sea urchin and seaweed, Manila Bulletin reports.
The Bureau noted that Aquino administration is “very serious” in drafting a thorough strategic plan to turn the provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi or Basulta, which make up the Sulu archipelago, into a progressive area in which locals can directly benefit from its resources.
Meanwhile, Agriculture Secretary Proceso J Alcala has announced his intent to invigorate the fishing industry and help boost dwindling fish population.
By Natalia Real