Rep. Rico, BFAR: alternative livelihood for illegal fishers
REP. Erico Aumentado has moved to provide alternative livelihood to alleged illegal fishers in the coastal towns of the 2nd district of Bohol to stop the destruction of the coral reefs and the marine ecosystem in the seawaters within the Danajon Double Barrier Reef (DDBR).
The solon secured the support of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Andres Bojos and Agriculture Region 7 Executive Director Angel Fernandez during a breakfast meeting last Sunday in Cebu City for the purpose.
The meeting explored possible alternative livelihoods for the fishermen from seaweeds farming for carrageenan production to putting up a “new look” fishing facility, fish pens, and fish traps locally known as bobo.
Aumentado informed the BFAR and DA regional heads that he offered the alternative livelihoods to the islanders during his sorties inaugurating projects and attending barangay assemblies in the island barangays after being informed of illegal fishing in the seawaters committed not just by the native fishermen but also those coming from Leyte, Southern Leyte and Cebu.
The congressman also told the regional chiefs of alleged poaching of coral reefs from the Bohol seawaters and their sale to buyers in Lapu-Lapu City. On the Bohol side, Aumentado said he intends to pilot seaweeds farming in the islands of Sag, Talibon and Tintinan all in Ubay with an initial outlay of P50,000 each barangay, allocated under his 2012 Priority Development Assistance Fund (PDAF) first tranche.
Bojos, with the concurrence of Fernandez, readily offered for BFAR to provide the seaweeds (guso) seedlings from its Sinandigan, Ubay facility where BFAR develops high yielding and high quality seaweeds for carrageenan production, technical assistance and training for the fishermen’s groups participating in the project.
Bojos also suggested, to which Aumentado agreed, that the latter’s PDAF outlay for the fishermen of Sag and Tintinan will be used to buy the materials and other requirements for the seaweeds farming, and the piloting of the project in the two island barangays this year.
For 2013, they agreed for BFAR to set aside P5 million and the congressman’s office P2.5 million from his pork barrel funds for the same purpose.
Meanwhile, Aumentado conferred with Ahong Chan, a Cebu-based seaweeds buyer, for a possible marketing tie-up with the seaweeds farmers in Sag and Tintinan under a marketing agreement that would be favorable to the seaweeds farmers similar to that of the memorandum of agreement (MOA) between the Marcela Farms of the Alturas Group of Companies with the hybrid rice and hybrid corn farmers in the 2nd district of Bohol packaged by the solon in his rice ratooning program as third cropping, “plant hybrid rice and fertilize now, pay later program”, and “plant hybrid corn and fertilize now, pay later program” which are highly successful in the district.
Chan informed Aumentado that the current price per kilo of dried seaweeds is P25.. Chan also suggested for the solon to copy his floating solar drier for the two piloted islands and others that may be tapped in the future.