BFAR delivers boats to boost fisherfolk livelihoods

BFAR delivers boats to boost fisherfolk livelihoods
NEW BOATS. Three fisherfolk groups in Central Visayas receive new fishing vessels from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on Wednesday, July 3, 2024. In Cebu, the turnover was held in Carmen town and attended by Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr. EARL PADRONIA

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) turned over 15 62-foot (18.9 meters) fishing boats together with “pakura” or smaller fishing boats less than 20 feet in size to over 40 fisherfolk associations and cooperatives across the country on Wednesday, July 3, 2024.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., with BFAR officer-in-charge Isidro Velayo Jr. and BFAR 7 officer-in-charge Mario Ruinata, led the turnover at the Cebu Technological University-Carmen campus in northern Cebu.

In Central Visayas, three fisherfolk associations and cooperatives were beneficiaries of the vessels.

Laurel, in an interview, said the vessels will capacitate selected fisherfolk associations and cooperatives to venture into deeper waters outside of the municipal waters and to have access to abundant catch and far-flung fishing grounds.

This will boost the fisherfolk’s income, helping them contribute to the nation’s food security and economic growth, according to Laurel.

The vessels were part of BFAR’s Capacitating Municipal Fisherfolk Program, with the goal of enhancing the fishing capacity of local fisherfolk, thus improving their productivity.

The program targeted to launch a total of 66 62-foot fishing vessels for the current year with a combined budget of P660 million.

BFAR is an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture.

BFAR has contracted Dynacast Shipyard, a local shipping manufacturer based in Carmen, Cebu, to manufacture the fishing vessels.

Nour Hariz, the architect who designed the vessels and general manager of Dynacast, said the vessel can carry a maximum of 30 personnel. It also has a storage compartment of up to three tons, almost the same as a commercial fishing vessel.

The vessels are made of imported and high-grade fiberglass reinforced plastic, designed to withstand the force of the sea for a long period of time.

Hariz said each 62-foot vessel costs at least P9 million to manufacture as it is equipped with a high-capacity engine.

Dionesio Tibay, a member of the Mancilang Integrated Fisherfolks Association in the town of Madridejos, Bantayan Island, which is one of the beneficiaries of the program, expressed gratitude to BFAR for the vessel.

Tibay said the program benefits their association as they got the vessel for free, with members sharing the income every time the vessel ventures out into the sea. / EHP

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