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Government Distributes Bangus Fingerlings to Cotabato Fishers

24 January 2013

PHILIPPINES - Over 100 small- scale fisherfolk in Barangay Kalanganan in Cotabato City have received bangus fingerlings from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 12 to help boost their livelihood.

Cotabato City fishery officer Halkat Ibrahim said beneficiaries were identified after thorough background checks assuring that intended recipients operate existing fishponds.

More than 110,000 fingerlings were given out free in a ceremony on January 9. These have covered at least 300 hectares of fishponds.

The dispersal was the second time that Bangus fingerlings were distribute to small-scale fishpond owners in the city. In 2012, some 120,000 fingerlings were given to other recipients.

More dispersal activities are expected this year, Ibrahim said.

“It is indeed a great help for us especially that the fingerlings nowadays are sold from P2.50- P3.00 pesos per fingerling,” Romulo Diesto, Jr., one of the beneficiaries said in response to the BFAR 12 assistance.

“It’s already a big ease from our budget,” he said.

Asked about the status of the Bangus Industry in the city, Cotabato fishery coordinator Abubakkar Depatuan, Cotabato Fishery Coordinator, noted that production of bangus in the area is increasing, which is a proof of its development.

The number of fishpond operators who are now engaged in growing bangus has also increased, he pointed out.

Though bangus harvest in the area still exclusively sold in Cotabato market, BFAR 12 and the Local Government of Cotabato positively foresee the city’s potential as a major producer of said fish in the country.

It also envisions to become one of the Bangus producers of the country. Because of this, they are showing their full support as many fishers are now putting their interest in bangus production.

To ensure success of the dispersal activity, BFAR 12, under the leadership of OIC regional director Ambutong K. Pautong, will closely monitor the activities of recipient farmers.

Fingerlings dispersal is only one of the programs that BFAR 12 implements to support the fisheries production of Soccsksargen Region.

Soccksargen Region covers the cities of Cotabato, General Santos, Kidapawan, Tacurong, and Koronadal as well as the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat, and Sarangani.

Pautong believes that this kind of input assistance would also help in the livelihood of the fisherfolk.

TheFishSite News Desk

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