BFAR: Just enough fish supply in Northern Mindanao

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Cagayan de Oro City (September 26) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here in Northern Mindanao said that there is just enough fish supply in the region.

BFAR regional Director Teoduro Bacolod, Jr. in a media briefing Tuesday afternoon, emphasized that the region is highly dependent on the supply from Zamboanga peninsula.  “We have supply from other regions like Zamboanga and General Santos, with support from the catch in the region,” he added.

Data from the National Economic Development Authority in Region 10 showed it produced 32,719.34 metric tons of fish in the first quarter of 2018, a 2.4% drop in production as compared to the first quarter of 2017. Bacolod, however, clarified that he cannot provide data on how much fish is enough, ample or abundant which the region consumed or needed.

“We cannot really see now how much do we really need and there are many factors on the dwindling supply of fish, but what we can say is that we are ready (for any eventuality) if Zamboanga cannot supply,” Bacolod said.

He blamed overfishing and pollution as the main factors on the dwindling supplies of fish in the region. “Pollutants from industries, mining and loss of forest covers are some of the factors,” Bacolod added.

The BFAR has released tens of millions of Tilapia fingerlings in different rivers in Northern Mindanao to augment the needed fish. “In Cagayan de Oro alone, we have seeds around 10 million Tilapia along Iponan and Cagayan de Oro Rivers and Tagoloan river in Tagoloan, Misamis Oriental,” Bacolod said.  The seedings are done every year.

BFAR also developed aquaculture marine parks in Northern Mindanao. Bacolod said that there are 3 aquaculture parks – one in Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, another in Jimenez, Misamis Occidental and one in Sultan Naga Dimaporo in Lanao del Norte to augment fish supply in the region.

The aquamarine parks were developed to raise Bangus on seas. In Balingasag, Misamis Oriental, there is a 150 hectares aquamarine park which is capable of holding 150 fish cages.  Only a few will be operational as BFAR would want to avoid fish kills.

Bacolod also urged LGUs to create their own fishing code within their municipalities and organized its fisherfolks. “I am urging fishermen to do their part in doing sustainable fishing because in the end, it is their livelihood, and for LGUs to actively support and implement fishing laws,” Bacolod added.

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