December 6, 2022

Maximizing the use of the Magat water resource and sustaining fisherfolk livelihood for increased production and income, a five-unit complete package of High-Density Polyethylene (HDPE) circular fish cage project will be established at the Magat reservoir in Ifugao.
The project, worth P5.1 million, will benefit five fisherfolk associations in Alfonso Lista and Aguinaldo, Ifugao.
An estimated increase in production of three metric tons per unit annually is projected. Each cage unit measuring 10 meters width and six meters depth will be stocked with 10,000 pieces of tilapia to produce 1,500 kilograms after five to six months.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera Senior Aquaculturist Marx Perfecto C. Garcia said the HDPE fish cage can withstand any catastrophic situation because of its strong cage frame made from HDPE materials, which can last a lifetime. Its circular design can reduce the impact of strong winds and waves into the structure.
The cages will be designed fitting the water resource as to the required maximum depth to sustain its usability and are movable during typhoons to avoid damage and losses.
BFAR is preparing potential fisherfolk associations through a series of consultations, social preparation, and constant coordination.
Five fisherfolk organizations expressed their interest to be one of the recipients of the project.
“Each organization shall prepare their management plan, activities, and contingency plans to determine the operational efforts of the fisherfolk members from stocking, harvesting, up to marketing the produce,” BFAR-Cordillera Director Lilibeth L. Signey said.
She added fisherfolk associations shall reorganize to foster harmony among members.
“BFAR continuously strengthens the organization of fisherfolk groups in consonance with the One DA approach under the Agri-Industrial Business Corridors, through which organized fisherfolk groups get more additional funding support and access to resources, including state-of-the-art production technologies, hatcheries and nurseries, capital, and value-adding facilities. This will build a strong bargaining power of fisherfolk in any intervention thus attain a competitive market with no middlemen involved,” Signey added.
Qualified potential project beneficiaries will undergo capacity building, particularly on enterprise management and development, operation of the HDPE cages, and financial literacy.
“I hope our organization will be considered as one of the potential project recipients for us to create sustainable livelihood source because this is our chance to do our part to prove that we can propagate more fisheries interventions with the support of the government,” said Lerwin C. Abad, president of the Ibanag Fisherfolk and Farmers Association in Sto. Domingo, Alfonso Lista.
Abad said members will shoulder the fuel expenses as their counterpart. – Rodelyn Foronda