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BFAR 11 distributes 3.9-M tilapia fingerlings

Friday, May 11, 2018, Sun Star Davao

AS of April this year, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Davao Region had already distributed 3.9 million tilapia fingerlings to the fisherfolk and the provincial government units in the region.

Part of the current campaign of BFAR Davao Region is to repopulate the rivers and lakes in the region with tilapias through the nationwide Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (Basil) program. 

“Basil is a program of Agriculture secretary Manny Piñol to repopulate the fresh water like rivers and lakes. We will add fish. We are currently conducting seeding by putting in tilapia, for example, or whatever are endemic species in the area,” said BFAR Davao Regional Director Fatma Idris in an earlier interview. 

It can be recalled that BFAR Davao Region started with their Basil program implementation with the dispersal of 5,000 tilapia fingerlings in the Matina Pangi River as announced by Idris during the 54th Fish Conservation Week that happened October of last year. 

“Since Matina Pangi River is communal water, the maintenance of the project will be a community project. The objective is to increase the fish stock in the river to have affordable and accessible fisheries through this Basil project,” she said.

Idris said they have already distributed a total of 3.94 million tilapia fingerlings in all the provinces in the region, especially in Compostela Valley. 

This Basil program was initially launched by the Department of Agriculture as there are lesser fish population in the rivers and lakes in the country. Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol earlier stated that this could be attributed to the use of chemicals in agricultural and illegal fishing methods like ‘electric fishing’ and cyanide.

In the entire country, priority lakes for this Basil program include Laguna de Bay, Lake Lanao, Taal Lake, Lake Mainint in Surigao del Norte, Naujan Lake in Oriental Mindoro, Buluan Lake in Maguindanao, and Lake Sebu in South Cotabato. 

The major rivers included in the project are the Cagayan River Basin, Mindanao River Basin, Agusan River Basin, Pampanga River Basin, Abra River Basin, and the Bicol River Basin.

On top of this project in the region, Idris also said they were procuring Pagbabao boats which will be distributed to the fisherfolk in the region as part of the commitment of Agriculture Secretary Manny Piñol’s administration.