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P33.6 Million Worth of Fish Cages Destroyed by Typhoon Pablo

07 December 2012

PHILIPPINES - Investors in Panabo City’s Mariculture Park are facing a bleak Christmas after they suffered millions of pesos in losses as a result of typhoon Pablo which ravaged the provinces of Davao del Norte, Davao Oriental, and Banganga, Davao Oriental on 4 December.

“At least P33.6 million worth of bangus and fish cages have been destroyed due to the typhoon and this is only a conservative and partial estimate,” said Maria Lourdes Campeon of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-11, Wednesday.

The Mariculture Park is the main money-earner of Panabo City generating an income-seed money of P601.65 million as of October 2012 from the initial seed money of only P235.8 million in 2006.

Ms Campeon said 318 fish cages in the Park are operational but 110 cages have no fingerlings. Out of the 208 productive fish cages, she added, 112 have been affected by the strong rains, wind and waves during the typhoon.

“Up to 75 per cent or 84 of the 112 fish cages are totally damaged, with the frame totally destroyed and a hundred per cent of the fish inside let loose,” Ms Campeon said. The technical staff confirmed that some of the fishes were already ready for harvest or weighing 400 grams and up while others were newly stocked.

She said a total of 28 fish cages have been partially damaged which could mean the fish nets are still intact but the frames on one or more sides already destroyed, or the net has already been destroyed.

The destruction wrought by the typhoon has affected 32 private investors and 11 fishers, most of whom have just re-loaned from the banks. She said one private investor owns between five to 17 fish cages.

One fish cage can cost as much as P100,000 including the shade (payag) and mooring, she said.

“The damage is actually only a conservative estimate because we priced the cages with fish at only P300,000 when it can reach as much as P500,000 each during normal days,” she said.

She said the investors and fishers have started to repair their cages.”We have instructed them to secure their cages and repair those that can still be repaired the soonest possible time to avoid further losses,” she said.

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