DAGUPAN CITY: At least six fish devices called payao were installed in the Lingayen Gulf, particularly in coastal Barangay Pugaro, to help increase fishermen’s catch.
Fisherman Ramon Garcia said the payao were placed through the bayanihan spirit with the help of the City Agriculture Office and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 1.
The payao, made from coconut leaves and rope, will serve as artificial reefs for the fishes to breed in abundance for about two to three weeks.
They are submerged about six to seven feet deep and about three to four kilometers away from the shoreline of Pugaro.
Two more were also installed farther away from the shoreline.
“We choose Pugaro because the area will soon be a tourist spot and to show that we are serious in protecting our sea especially against dynamite fishing,” City Agriculture officer Emma Molina said.
Pugaro, according to BFAR, is the breeding place of some high-value fishes like lapu-lapu and talakitok.
With the payao in place, it is expected that the fisherfolk in the area need not hunt fish along San Fabian and Lingayen area or go farther out to sea.
Nestor Victorio, barangay (village) chairman of Pugaro, said about 70 to 80 percent of village residents depend on the bounty of the sea for livelihood.
He added that Mayor Belen Fernandez also provided kalokor, a net tied to a boat pulled by about10 people, which has been a big help to fisherfolk in catching fish.