Dagupan council okays larger fish cages


DAGUPAN CITY — The city council, in its special session on Thursday, passed an ordinance enlarging the size of each fish cage that may be allowed in the city rivers to enable concessionaires from poor families to earn.

The council approved Draft Ordinance No,0-637 that amended Ordinance No. ‎248-2015 which prohibits the construction of fish pens but permits the construction of fish cages measuring five meters by five meters.

Noting petitions from coastal barangays of the city, where concessionaires said the five meters by five meters fish cage is not economically viable, the city council enlarged the size per fish cage to seven meters by 10 meters to enable them to earn.

Mayor Belen T. Fernandez called for the special session so the size per allowable fish cage can be revised to jibe with the start of the issuance by the city government of Aquatic Lease Agreement (ALA) to concessionaires starting January 2.

Those who petitioned for the amendment of the ordinance are fish farmers from Barangays Lomboy, Salapingao, Pugaro-Suit and Lucao.

Fish cages are structures whose nets are left hanging in the water and do not touch the floors of rivers, whereas the nets of fish pens extend up to the bottom of rivers, thus hinder water flow and aggravate water pollution.

The city council deemed that fish cages are environment-friendly, whereas fish pens are not.

Only marginal fishermen who are among the poorest of the poor and members of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program (4Ps) are allowed to apply for ALA for a fee of PHP500 from the previous PHP1,000.

Those who will be given ALA must conform with all the regulations set by the City Agriculture Office, one of which is the stocking only of fishes that do not need commercial feeds to grow.

The fishes that can be stocked in fish cages include malaga (siganid), grouper (lapu-lapu), sea bass, pampano and others. Milkfish or bangus is not allowed because it needs commercial feeds.

Mayor Fernandez vowed to start issuing ALA to barangay folks who could meet all the requirements early next year.

All those who will build fish cages and raise fish will be assisted by the City Agriculture Office headed by Emma Molina.  PNA-northboundasia.com