LINGAYEN, Pangasinan: The fishery industry in this capital town of Pangasinan is under serious threat from El Niño.
Edgar Sison, president of the Lingayen Federation of Fisherfolk Organizations (LIFFO) Inc. said about 60 percent of the rivers in the town already dried up due to the effects of El Niño, resulting in low production of fish.
He aired this concern during the LIFFO First General Assembly held at the Pangasinan Training and Development Center on Saturday.
“Our agenda includes discussions on how to address El Niño and how to seek assistance from concerned agencies,” Sison said. “Compared to other sectors, only a small share of assistance reaches our industry,” he added.
Sison disclosed that they have requested the provincial government and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to provide them water pumps to ensure water in their fishponds.
Meanwhile, BFAR provincial fishery officer Glicerio Legaspi said consultative meetings were being conducted to plan for the dredging of rivers to address El Niño.
He said that while the province remains the top fish producer in the country, BFAR has prioritized projects for the fisher folk such as the National Shellfish Program, provision of fishery gears and paraphernalia, techno-demo projects, GAD (Gender and Development) livelihood program, and Mangrove Enhancement Program.
Legaspi added that the BFAR provincial office was also monitoring illegal fishing in Pangasinan, especially in Lingayen Gulf and the West Philippine Sea.
The provincial government, through the Provincial Agriculturist Office has also vowed to provide assistance to the fishery industry to boost production.