FISHERFOLKS in Davao Region are targeted to receive 4,000 fiber glass boats within the present administration, said a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) official.

More than 3,000 fiber glass boats are intended to be distributed to the fisherfolks in Davao Region, not including the 50 boats allocated per congressional district.

According to BFAR Davao Regional Director Fatma Idris as of last year they have already distributed 300 boats in the different areas of the region. During the weeklong celebration of the 54th Fish Conservation Week Celebration from October 16 to 20 alone, 22 boats were turned over to local fisherfolks in Compostela Valley. These boats will be of use by fisherfolks from Pantukan, Maco, and Mabini.

Idris said one boat is for use of two fisherfolks and will be up to them how the boat use sharing will be agreed upon. She believes that the turned over boats to the local fisherfolks are of big help to them as they are also given more access to fishes by their own at any time, depending on the agreement with the boat partner.

“This is not subsidized. Everything is free, we won’t take it back unless they are caught fishing illegally. We are guarding the seas in collaboration with the local government units. That’s what we agreed on. If they are caught, the LGU’s will be the one to police their people. We give livelihood intervention for them. But the LGUs will be the one to transfer ownership of the boats once the original owners are caught doing illegal fishing,” Idris said.