San Joaquin declares all coastal areas sanctuaries-A A +A
Tuesday, August 16, 2011
TWELVE more Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) were launched in San Joaquin, Iloilo Tuesday making a total of 15 marine sanctuaries in the said town.
The marine sanctuaries, each having an area of 2,000 hectares, cover all the 22 coastal barangays of the said municipality.
San Joaquin Mayor Ninfa Garin, who led the launching program at the town’s covered gym, said the marine sanctuaries will be maintained and protected with the help of the barangay officials and the entire community.
“Our main purpose here is to protect and preserve the source of livelihood of small fisher folk,” Garin said.
She said they piloted the project in three coastal areas, namely, Lawigan, Tubog and Tiolas, which gained positive results.
“A few months after we started the project and the catch of the fishermen increased, so we decided to go full blast with the project,” Garin said.
She also encouraged the neighboring coastal municipality of Miagao to identify and preserve marine sanctuaries to thwart illegal fishers.
In support of San Joaquin’s coastal resource management program, Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. gave P800,000 for the purchase of a rubber boat complete with scuba diving and deep water equipment.
The blessing of the rubber boat was made coinciding with the launching of the marine sanctuaries.
Garin said the rubber boat will be used for patrolling the marine sanctuaries and could also be used by the town’s emergency responders in times of disaster or emergency.
The mayor thanked the Governor’s help especially that San Joaquin is the very first municipality to avail of the rubber boat.
Defensor was represented by newly confirmed Provincial Agriculturist Ildefonso Toledo during the turn-over of the rubber boat. Also present were representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC). (ECGarcia)