Livelihood for banned Ludong fisherfolk

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TUGUEGARAO CITY: The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 2 is set to implement a large-scale bamboo planting project to provide “alternative livelihood” for fisherfolk affected by the ban on Ludong fishing.

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BFAR officials said the livelihood project for displaced fishermen will be done in coordination with local government units.

Beneficiaries for the livelihood project are small fisherfolk from the municipalities affected by the ban on Ludong fishing: Aparri, Camalaniugan, Lallo, Gattaran, Sto. Niño, Alcala, and Amulung in Cagayan; Ilagan City, Palanan, Tumauini, San Mariano, San Agustin, Jones, Dinapigue, Cabagan in Isabela; and Maddela, Cabarroguis, Aglipay and Nagtipunan in Quirino.

These fisherfolk were displaced when a BFAR administrative circular imposed a “closed fishing season” on the high-value fish Ludong (Cestraeus sp.) every year from October 1 to November 15.

BFAR National Director Asis Perez issued Administrative Circular 247 last year to protect spawning Ludong, which is fast disappearing in the region.

The circular prohibits individuals, associations or corporations from catching Ludong species, also called “president’s fish,” in Cagayan River, including its tributaries, headwaters and watersheds, Abra River and its tributaries extending to Santa River in Ilocos Sur and the Cordillera Region.

Militant group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) blasted the BFAR for implementing the Ludong closed season order, saying the ban will only affect small fisherfolk.

Pamalakaya blamed BFAR’s negligence and incompetence for the depletion of Ludong. It said “the agency is responsible for the dwindling away of the Ludong population.”

Pamalakaya Vice Chairperson Salvador France said the small fishermen should not be included in the BFAR’s order to ban the catching of Ludong.

“The small fisherfolk are the ones who suffer and not the big fishing corporations,” France said, adding that if there is anyone who should be subjected to the BFAR order, it should only be the big fishing corporations and not the small fisherfolk.

This is why BFAR officials in Region 2 said they are coming up with the bamboo livelihood project, which will mainly benefit those fisherfolk who were directly involved in catching Ludong.

Earlier this week, the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) Clonal Nursery in Cagayan has confirmed a high market potential for bamboo given the limited supply in Region 2.

Dr. Noel Soriano and Forester Pablo Agustin of Cagayan CENRO said they have been holding trainings on bamboo propagule propagation, nursery establishment and actual planting and maintenance.

Lilia de Leon Abel of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources said that bamboo can be harvested after seven years, and harvesting can continuously go on, unlike a lumber tree, which can be harvested only once.

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1 Comment

  1. Arch. Lito L. Mallonga on

    I Fully support and agree that a total ban on Ludong be implemented right away
    There are other ways to crate better jobs for all those being affected
    not only the fisherman but the farmers. Bringing better technology
    and enough funding will create so much jobs for people of Cagayan
    Valley that it has been ignored the potential of this vast of land
    for so many years now. Cagayan River will play a big role not only
    towards Aqua Culture, Agriculture but to including Power Supply
    as our operation will be 24/7 .

    Bamboo is not the real solution to help them as we have to address
    the river bed at Cagayan River. Most of this rivers are now almost as
    high as the elevation of the land. Dredging needs to be done and that is also
    one of the reasons why the Ludong does not get back.

    Ludong can be done through Aqua Culture like the Wild Salmon . China now including Chile are producing Salmon and there is no reason it can be done in the Philippines. We need Food as we are to develop a big project in one of the Island
    in PH so we can bring people around the world as well to serve the entire ASEAN Countries.

    We have the FUNDS !!!! Technology Transfer and big corporations across North America and UK who has never done business in PH has given me their full support. One of my associate is is Gen. Carlos F. Malana (Ret) Former Inspector General of AFP who is from our Province in Cagayan.

    As I have always said , though I have left my Birth Country, I have never forgotten
    my province and I will do al I can to help you there. Politics needs to be keep aside
    this time around.