DAGUPAN CITY: The “One Barangay, One Fish” project piloted in five coastal villages here turned out a success after just one production cycle with the bountiful harvest of high-value fish species by initial family beneficiaries.
Initiated by Mayor Belen Fer–nandez under her pro-poor program, the project is almost akin to the “One Town, One Product” (OTOP) conceived earlier by the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) as an strategy to spur economic development in the countryside.
Launched early this year in Salapingao, Pugaro, Calmay, Pantal and Lomboy villages, the project also served to motivate traditional fish farmers to shift to other high-value species of fish other than bangus (milkfish) for them to earn more.
One family was chosen per village and given one medium-sized floating fish cage made from local indigenous materials and, of course, fingerlings of talakitok, malaga (siganid), sea bass, lapu-lapu (grouper) and alangat.The program aims to help marginal fisherfolk create and maintain their own livelihood and become self-sufficient.
In Salapingao, more than 400 pieces of malaga were harvested, comprising 98 percent of the number of fingerlings that were seeded. Similar high survival rate was also noted in other fish stocked in four other pilot villages.
Loretta Velasquez, wife of a fisherman of Pugaro, earned more than P11,000 from the sale of her lapu-lapu.
“We are happy that we had a good harvest. We really did our best to grow the fish given to us. This is a big help to us small fishermen,” said Velasquez.
She also thanked Mayor Fernan–dez for choosing her family to benefit from the project so that they can have their own source of living.
Due to the positive result of the pilot project, City Agriculturist Emma Molina recommended to the mayor to increase the stocking density of the fish cages for the next production cycle.
“We will continue to develop this project so we could help those fisherfolk who only depend on bangus and teach them how to raise other fish species,” said Molina.
Fernandez was satisfied with the result of the program which will help the local government fight poverty.