TUGUEGARAO CITY: The regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) here is presently undertaking a number of projects intended to fast-track development of the fisheries sector in Batanes province.
Batanes Provincial Fisheries Action Officer Angel Encarnacion said they have recently launched a Community-Based Multi-Species Hatchery (CBMSH) in Sabtang town, in collaboration with the Sabtang National School of Fisheries. The facility will produce post larvae of high value species such as sea cucumber and sea urchin, and tilapia and siganids fingerlings.
Inaugurated by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala on February 13, the facility is foreseen to jump start fish culture ventures in the area.
As of this time, aquaculture production in Batanes is nil, and while the province is 153-percent fish self-sufficient, Encarnacion said that aquaculture can provide for the fish requirement of the province in times of bad weather or during the off-season.
Another CBMSH is being established in Uyugan town in collaboration with the Batanes State College, Encarnacion revealed. The facility will be launched later this month.
To make use of excess production, the PFAO said that Alcala approved in principle the establishment of a mini-fish processing plant for the SNSF, primarily for the processing of flying fish.
Encarnacion, also the post-harvest chief of BFAR-2, said the agency will train the
recipients from handling to processing to packaging, to ensure good quality product.
Besides the facility, Alcala also committed to provide fishing boats, and likewise, directed BFAR-2 to provide fingerlings for the water impounding project in Itbayat and the fish tank projects in Sabtang.
To counteract the frequent intrusion of poachers in the area, Encarnacion said BFAR-2 has transferred funds to the Department of Public Works and Highways for the rehabilitation of the shelter port in Basco. This is meant to safeguard the patrol vessels/boats to be stationed in the province in the near future and at the same time, the local fishing boats plying the area.