The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) plans to put up at least 50 fish port facilities nationwide over the next three years, as part of the government’s effort to achieve sustainable development of the fisheries sector.
BFAR Director Asis Perez said that the agency has put up a team of evaluators to conduct studies and create a comprehensive fish port development program, which will be implemented by 2014.
“Our initial target is to construct 50 fish ports before the end of this administration. Hopefully, our team of evaluators will come up with the comprehensive fish port development plan for implementation next year,” Perez told reporters.
The BFAR chief, however, said that the agency has yet to determine the investment needed for the program’s implementation, adding that amount of each port facility would depend on the feasibility study and the viability of the fisheries resources in their respective areas.
“We may even include postharvest and cold storage facilities if these areas are deemed viable,” he said.
Perez added that the comprehensive fish port development program would complement the sustainable fishery projects of the government under the fisheries modernization plan.
“Over the last two years, we have been focusing on increasing our production, through implementation of fishing bans in various area of the country. But we still lack the postharvest facilities needed to maximize income generation,” he added.
In a related development, Perez said that the agency has allotted P50 million for the construction of a fish port facility in Real, Quezon province, in an effort to strengthen presence and deter illegal fishing activities by foreign nationals in the Pacific region.
The BFAR chief earlier said that the fish port complex will cost P300 million to P400 million, and will include cold storage and processing centers wherein Filipino commercial fishing vessels can operate.
“We hope to start construction within the year,” he added.