The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is giving away 900 units of 30-footer fiberglass boats this year in the whole of MIMAROPA, and registered Palawan fishermen are among those who can expect to benefit from the distribution program.
Fishery and aquatic resources assistant regional director Roberto Abrera said the fiberglass boats are meant to replace the common wooden boats that are not resilient to harsh sea conditions.
“Napakalaki nitong tulong ng BFAR sa ating mga mangingisda” Abrera said, because fiberglass boats require minimum maintenance and can last up to seven years or more.
He added registered and legally-operating fisherfolks belonging to recognized associations and organizations can benefit from the program of the Department of Agriculture (DA) through their agency.
“Hindi basta-basta magbibigay ng bangka kung hindi ka miyembro ng fisherfolk associations sa iyong bayan,” he said. Last year, the fishery bureau distributed 120 units of 20-footer fiberglass boats.
Aside from the said program, Abrera said the BFAR is out to provide training opportunities to fishermen, particularly to those engaged in fishery-related endeavors such as seaweed culture, mud crab fattening, fish processing, artificial reef-making (payaw), hatchery development, sea cucumber farming, and other value-added technologies.
He said that last year, in Palawan alone, an estimated 1,200 individuals were trained on these in the towns of Coron, Cuyo, Roxas, Aborlan, Araceli, Bataraza and Busuanga.
“This intervention is a holistic approach,” he explained, citing the parable of teaching men how to fish than just giving it to them.
Of the total figure, he stated that 276 were trained for three days on Basic Fishery Law Enforcement and Training (FLEET) in eight separate locations.
Some of those who had undergone the training has now become fish wardens to help in coastal resources management through keeping abreast with basic operation protocols and procedures for successful apprehension and prosecution of illegal fishers.