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Caraga Region now has three Mariculture Parks

After two previous Mariculture Parks were launched in Barobo, Surigao del Sur on April 8 and Dapa, Siargao Island on May 10, Caraga Region now has three big mariculture parks after the recent launching of the third one here in Surigao City, says BFAR Caraga Regional Director Alauya R. Olama.

Olama said the new Surigao City Mariculture Park in Barangay Navajo, Surigao City sits on a 100- hectare seashore area which is open for private marine business joint venture with the local government of Surigao City.

Olama who has been with BFAR for the past 37 years and rose from the ranks said interested marine traders, fishpond growers who are interested to invest in partnership with LGUs may also communicate with the BFAR-Caraga regional office in Butuan City or its satellite offices in the region and here in Surigao City.

A marine culture park usually sits on a one hectare land or more land where local marine resources such as fish, crabs and oysters can be culturally developed and harvested.

The Barobo Mariculture Park is the second in the region– the first one to be launched under the Sustainable Management of Coastal Resources in Bicol and Caraga regions (SUMACORE) Program of the Agencia Espanla 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 out in his keynote address during the launching ceremonies of the two Mariculture Parks.

BFAR Caraga Regional Director Alauya Olama earlier said that the parks will serve as showcases of fishery technology to encourage more to investors.

He added that the yield per cropping of one cage could equal 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.

Olama said that BFAR continuously seeks for more development partnerships with the LGUs for poverty alleviation, job generation and food security in the coastal areas.

The Dapa Mariculture Zone has an area of 1,000 hectares covering the coastal barangays of Dapa, Siargao Islands.

Congressman Francisco Matugas of the First District of Siargao and Bucas Grande Islands see the park as an initial step to development, an initial answer to the growing population.

He is hoping for more assistance from the BFAR like patrol boat, payaw and cold storage for fish and other marine products.

The launching was 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 LGUs and neighboring municipalities, DA and BFAR regional and provincial officials and employees, Sangguniang bayan members, councilmen, teachers, students, residents and fisherfolk. (PNA)

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