WITH limited access to their regular market, fishermen in Central Visayas have resorted to online selling and peddling of seafood to earn a living amid the coronavirus disease (Covid-19) pandemic.
Regional Director Dr. Allan Poquita of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has noted the rising number of people venturing into selling seafood online because fisherfolk had difficulty bringing their products to the market due to the quarantine imposed in many areas.
“We are happy that people are venturing into this enterprise to cater to the needs of people in their localities nowadays,” he said during the virtual talk show Mugstoria Ta aired on the Facebook page of the Office of the Presidential Assistant for the Visayas hosted by Assistant Secretary Jonji Gonzales.
Provincial fishery officers in Central Visayas, who also joined the online talk show, shared the same observation, saying that many people have responded to the situation by selling them online or peddling them.
Provincial fishery officer Candido Samijon of BFAR Bohol said they have recorded more than 1,000 people in the agricultural island who have been peddling fish products in recent months in the high-traffic areas like Tagbilaran City.
“People selling seafood online is also increasing here,” he said in Cebuano.
Edgardo Delfin, head of BFAR Cebu, said they have been encouraging people to explore the income opportunities in fish selling, especially at a time when many livelihoods have been lost during the crisis.
“People have found another source of income during this crisis,” he said.
Meanwhile, BFAR-Central Visayas plans to increase fish production in the region through the provision of fingerlings and technical assistance to small-scale fisherfolk and fisherfolk organizations.
This is in response to the call of Agriculture Secretary William Dar to refocus the agency’s programs in order to respond immediately to the effects of the coronavirus pandemic to the fishery sector.
The agency has also stepped up its regular price monitoring, fishing boats distribution and constant dialog with fisherfolk groups to ensure the fishery sector’s sustained contribution in the government’s food security program.
There are more than 100,000 registered fisherfolk in Central Visayas, according to BFAR-Central Visayas. (PR)