SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union: The City Agriculture Office, through the Task Force Sagip Karagatan, on Friday demolished up to a hundred fish traps in Barangay Carlatan because these obstruct the flow of sea water and fries to the fishponds of the villages of Bangcusay, Lingsat, Biday and Dalumpinas Este here.
City fish warden Dolores Gurtiza said that despite the hesitance of some fishpond fisherfolks here, they were inclined to impose the ordinance as these are illegal structures.
“We have met also to give them alternative livelihood, too bad some hesitant fishermen don’t attend the meetings,” Gurtiza said.
She said violators are made to pay fines up to P5,000, including the confiscation of their nets.
Artemio Eusebio, an 85-year-old partially deaf fisherman, voluntarily removed his five 10-meter fish traps which are his only source of livelihood.
“I did not wait for the police to come and confiscate my nets,” said Eusebio, who lives with his 82-year-old wife.
A fisherman who refused to be identified claimed that the illegal fish traps will be rebuilt as soon as the demolition crew will go away.
“A regular monitoring is already set-up to watch them, they will be on patrol,” Gurtiza said.
Eusebio added that there are also a number of fish traps being erected by a certain Ernesto Villamil.
“Hindi mo lang makita dahil nakalubog [You cannot see it because they are submerged],” said Gurtiza.
Gurtiza said that they will look into this. This writer tried to get the side of Villamil but to no avail.
Last April, the waterway in Carlatan Creek, the gateway of seawater coming from the San Fernando Bay towards the fishponds, was obstructed by sand erosions and rendered hectares of estates to dry up which producers eventually given a minimum of P5-million worth loss of fish fries.
Gurtiza said the demolition is one way to increase the production of fish such as bangus, tilapia, shrimps, catfish, Malaga, kapiged, shell fish and squid and make up for the loss last summer.