Php10 million fish cage livelihood to benefit Casiguran fisherfolks-BFAR

By Jason de Asis


CASIGURAN PENINSULA, Aurora, February 28, 2011-Casiguran fishermen and indigenous Dumagats here will benefit from a P10-million fish cage livelihood project in Casiguran mariculture park which initiated by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).


Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said that a total of 32 fish cages will be installed by the DA-BFAR at the Casiguran mariculture park through the initiative of Senator Edgardo J. Angara, Congressman Juan Edgardo "Sonny" Angara and Governor Bellaflor Angara-Castillo.


He said that the fish cage features a new design as devised by BFAR called as Alcala fish cage model where bangus and sea cucumber will be raised at the same time, adding that the Bangus will be raised on the top cage, while the sea cucumber will be at the bottom where they will serve as ‘bio filters’ or eaters of surplus feed and wastes of bangus.


Alcala said that every three months, each fish cage is expected to produce at least four tons or 4,000 kilos saying that at the current farmgate price of bangus in Casiguran of P90 per kilo, the fish cage beneficiaries will earn a gross income of P360,000.


During the project launch at Casiguran pier, Alcala explained that BFAR wants the small fishermen and the Dumagats to directly benefit from this fish cage livelihood project, saying that we want to change and transform their lives for the better.


"Every two (2) weeks, we will train them to stock and harvest bangus on a rotation basis so that they will earn a steady income year-round and assist them up to the marketing stage," Alcala said, adding that they will also put up a mini ice plant with a three-ton capacity to provide the ice requirements of the harvested bangus during transport to markets in Aurora province and nearby provinces such as Isabela, Quirino, Nueva Ecija and Nueva Vizcaya.


The DA will also provide a refrigerated truck courtesy of the Philippine Center for Postharvest Development and Mechanization (PhilMech).


Earlier, Alcala led the ceremonial stocking of bangus fingerlings and turnover of the initial batch of fish cages to the beneficiaries composed of small fishermen and Dumagats. (Jason de Asis)

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