Ilocos Norte fishers vow to promote food security and sustainable fisheries management

LAOAG CITY —Over a hundred fishermen in Ilocos Norte vowed to support the national government’s program on food security and sustainable fisheries management as they received around PHP12-million worth of fishing livelihood materials from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

On Wednesday, BFAR Undersecretary Eduardo Gongonan, along with other representatives and local officials here, personally led the distribution of these fishing paraphernalia at the Ilocos Norte Centenial Arena to the recipients who were hard hit by typhoon Lawin last October 2016.

In his speech prior to the distribution, he urged local fishermen here to partner with the government’s agenda on food self-sufficiency and to care for the ocean and other inland bodies of water where they depend on their livelihood.

Proudly holding a plastic of tilapia fingerlings, Donald Bautista of Barangay Maglaoi, Currimao, Ilocos Norte said he will immediately release these fingerlings into his fish pond upon arrival at home. “I am grateful for all these support from the government. It feels good that they now have time to listen to our needs,” he said in Ilokano.

Apart from the tilapia fingerlings, additional fish landing centers were also turned-over to them, including a fishery warehouse, 2-in-1 function chest freezer and chiller, motorized banca, payao, handline, bottom set gill net, basic fish stall, fish cladding and smoke houses.

The program beneficiaries are the various fishermen associations of Bacarra, Pagudpud, Bangui, Pasuquin, Paoay, Badoc, Currimao,Burgos, Vintar and Laoag City.

For Arsenio Garcia of Burgos town, he said all these blessings came from God and he expressed gratitude to the officials of the government for becoming an instrument in handing these items to them.

As part of BFAR’s program to empower marginalized fishermen, the agency is giving various fishing aid to them to ensure that they will no longer resort to illegal fishing and other related means that destroy coastal resources.

Gonggonan has also enjoined the Ilocos fishermen to participate in the nationwide search for the best coastal community and take advantage of attractive prizes that await winners.