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Department Of Agriculture Awards 15 Fishing Boats To Philippine Fisherfolk Groups

Department Of Agriculture Awards 15 Fishing Boats To Philippine Fisherfolk Groups

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The Department of Agriculture, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), on Wednesday awarded 15 newly constructed 62-footer fishing vessels to qualified fisherfolk associations and cooperatives across the Philippines to enhance municipal fishing capacity.

Agriculture Secretary Francisco Tiu Laurel Jr., who led the ceremonial unveiling of a scale model of the fishing boat at the Cebu Technological University – Carmen Campus, said the project was made possible through the Capacitating the Municipal Fisherfolk program.

Laurel cited the fisherfolk’s contribution to the national food security sustainment effort, noting that the boats’ features ensure efficiency in fishing activities, as well as safety among fishermen.

Isidro Velayo, BFAR officer in charge national director, said before conceptualizing the project, fishers nationwide utilized smaller fishing boats with less than 3-HP engines.

The new fishing boats are equipped with 9- to 16-HP, Velayo added.

“The program is designed with a clear vision to alleviate poverty among municipal and fisherfolk sectors by providing essential tools and resources. We are not only empowering but also reinforcing our commitment to Secretary Laurel’s primary program of food security,” BFAR 7 (Central Visayas) Director Mario Ruinata said in his speech.

Ruinata said a “strong and well-supported fishing community is fundamental to achieving our national interest to a secure and sustained food supply.”

Among the beneficiaries of the new fishing boats were the Mansilang Integrated Fisherfolk Association of Medellin, Cebu with 40 members, and the Madua Norte Fisherfolks Association of Duero, Bohol.

“We are incredibly grateful to BFAR for the generous gift of the 62-footer fishing boat that we are receiving today. This valuable asset will not only enhance our local fishing industry but also contribute to the sustainable management of our aquatic resources,” Duero Mayor Al Taculad said in his social media post. (PNA)