• Fishpond owners brace for drought

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    SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union: Six fishpond barangays here received 64,020 milkfish fingerlings from the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to augment the expected losses of fishpond operators due to the projected summer dry months.

    Villagers here already saw the signs of ponds drying up even before the dry season is officially declared by the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration (Pagasa).

    Dionisio Camarao, a fishpond operator and village official in Barangay Biday here, said the water in the ponds he owns now quickly evaporates making it difficult for him and other fishpond owners to secure bigger harvests.

    The City Agriculture Office earlier reported having done rehabilitative measures for 120 hectares of fishponds in the city. These ponds, located in barangays Lingsat, Dalumpinas Este, Carlatan, Bangcusay and San Vicente, were sowed with milkfish, native tilapia and shrimps.

    It also reported that of the area, at least 100 hectares are already beginning to dry-up while it is still the onset of summer season.

    Camarao, who owns at least one hectare of fishpond, said they (fishpond operators) expect to have millions worth of damage again this year, adding that the clogging of the main waterways along the Carlatan Creek contributes to the dry spell that they are starting to experience.

    Adding to their woes are the migratory birds that continue to feed on the fingerlings and ready-for-harvest milkfish.

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