THE Department of Agriculture in Davao Region, through the regional office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), launched in the region a national program that calls for registration of all fishing vessels and gears with local government units.

The program, dubbed as Municipal Fishing Vessels and Gears Registration or BoatR, was launched at the Royal Mandaya Hotel in Davao City yesterday.

The regional launch, as well as the conduct of a training/seminar, was attended by over 150 participants composed of municipal mayors, provincial heads, provincial fishery officers, municipal agriculturists and fishery technicians.

BoatR is designed to fast-track and complete the nationwide registration of municipal fishing vessels with capacity of three gross tons (GT) and below and municipal fishing gears, as required under Executive Order No. 305 s. 2004 and section 19 of the Fisheries Code of 1998.

Raul Millena, officer-in-charge of the Fish Production Division and the Regional BoatR Focal person told Sun.Star Davao that the registration will provide reliable information for concerned agencies, groups, or individuals.

"The registration of our fisher folk, fishing vessels and gears will help us identify clearly the beneficiaries of the agency's programs and the assistance they (fishermen) need. They will also have better access to government assistance since a card will be issued to them which will certify them as owners of the boat," Millena said.

Under the BoatR program, the agency will use the Boat Ad measurement mobile application which will facilitate the registration data and compute the registration breadth, depth and length. Each municipality will have at least one tablet with the Boat Ad measurement mobile application which will also serve as a monitoring tool to the agency's projects and programs.

An estimated 13,800 boats will be registered from the 276 coastal barangays in the region, based on 50 boats per barangay.

The BoatR is a second level technical support to LGUs following the year-long completion of the Municipal Fisher folk Registration Program or FishR in December of last year.