THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Cagayan Valley (Region 2) on Thursday said it has dispersed 210,000 fingerlings to underutilized bodies of water under its Balik-Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) project.
Apple Joy Usquisa, BASIL-Region 2 project leader, said at least 20,000 fingerlings were dispersed in each of the communal bodies of water in the towns of Aparri, Camalaniugan, Lallo, Amulung, Iguig, and Tuguegarao City in Cagayan; 70,000 in Ilagan City in Isabela; and 20,000 in Diffun town in Quirino.
BFAR’s fingerlings dispersal commenced during the recently concluded 54th Fish Conservation Week, in line with the national BASIL project.
“The dispersal is just an initial activity that aims to acquaint the local government units-BASIL project recipients. We shall go full-blast come availability of funds this 2018,” Usquisa said.
Under the project, the BFAR said it will also conduct lake rehabilitation and clean-up drive activities in Cagayan Valley.
“We will establish brushparks to serve as shelter or refuge for the fish and disperse fingerlings as seed stocks alongside social preparation, stock assessment and advocacy and policy action on the part of local government units,” Usquisa said.
Milagros Morales, BFAR Cagayan Valley director, said BASIL is expected to compensate for losses in production from other sources.
“And while we repopulate freshwater bodies particularly with non-invasive and indigenous species to increase productivity, our ultimate aim is to increase income of fisher folk in the region,” she said.
“Our inland bodies of water are underutilized for fisheries activities. We do hope that our local populace will adhere to our advocacy to ensure success of the project,” Morales added.
A five-year project that aims to rehabilitate major inland bodies of water in the country, BASIL is a top priority of the Agriculture Secreatry Emmanuel Piñol that targets to disperse at least 210 million fingerlings nationwide in seven major lakes and six major river basins.
These are the Laguna de Bay, Lake Lanao, Taal Lake, Lake Mainit, Naujan Lake, Buluan Lake and Lake Sebu, and the Cagayan, Mindanao, Agusan, Pampanga, Abra and Bicol river basins.