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Another two mariculture parks launched in Caraga

Two Mariculture Parks were launched in Barobo, Surigao del Sur on April 8, 2008 and Dapa, Siargao Island on May 10, 2008.

The Barobo Mariculture Park is the second in the region but the first one to be launched under the Sustainable Management of Coastal Resources in Bicol and Caraga regions (SUMACORE) Program of the Agencia Española de Cooperacion International (AECI) in partnership with the Local Government Unit (LGU).

The establishment of Mariculture Parks highlights the thrust of the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) in transforming the local fisherfolk from hunters of the seas to fish farmers. This is one of the measures to adapt to the fast-changing times and the inevitable global warming. BFAR National Director Malcolm Sarmiento pointed this out in his keynote address during the launching ceremonies of the two Mariculture Parks in the region.

BFAR Caraga Regional Director Alauya Olama earlier said that the parks will serve as showcases of fishery technologies to encourage more to invest on mariculture. He added that the yield per cropping of one cage could equal to the yield of a two-hectare fishpond. Assistant Regional Director Nerio Casil foresees the region to be the Grouper capital of the country since the local waters abound with rich fishery resources. He further said that BFAR continuously seeks for more development partnerships with the LGUs that would redound to poverty alleviation, job generation and food security in the coastal areas.

In attendance during the launching were SUMACORE project Director Jessica Muñoz, AECI Mindanao Filed Officer Miguel Angel Barba, Surigao del Sur 2nd District Congressman Florencio Garay and Barobo Municipal Mayor Arturo Ronquillo who all encouraged the local residents to support and protect for sustainable livelihood and improved quality of life.

On the other hand, Dapa Mariculture Zone counts the third, which has an area of 1000 hectares covering the coastal barangays of Dapa, Siargao Islands. Dapa Municipal Mayor Peter Ruaya envisions the park to attract investors. He said that they are ready to adapt advanced technology to make Dapa a livable place.

Congressman Francisco Matugas of the 1st District of Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands sees the park as just an initial step to development, an initial answer to the growing population. He hoped for more assistance from the BFAR like patrol boat, payaw and cold storage for fish and other marine products.

The launching were highlighted with the unveiling of the aqua tourism development plan and the ceremonial stocking of milkfish (bangus) and grouper (Lapu-lapu) fingerlings into the demo-cages. It was witnessed by executives of the respective LGUs and neighboring municipalities, DA and BFAR regional and provincial officials and employees, Sangguniang bayan members, councilmen, teachers, students, residents and fisherfolk. (BFAR-13)

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