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Creating a strong partnership and convergence among the different agencies of the government, BFAR XI OIC Regional Director Alfeo G. Piloton, together with key officials of the national government agencies convened a meeting spearheaded by Governor Claude Bautista and Congresswoman Lorna Bautista-Bandigan in Davao Occidental last July 2, 2020. A comprehensive discussion on the project, plans and programs took place to ensure Davao Occidental’s sustainable development.

Highlighted during the meeting is the strengthening of the province’s fishery sector, as it is comprised of five coastal municipalities with rich fisheries resources. Consequently, Governor Bautista emphasized a strong coordination and collaboration between the provincial government and BFAR XI.

Among the major priorities of the Provincial Government of Davao Occidental is the establishment of Mariculture for High Value Fish Species and Research Center in the Municipality of Sarangani. It will be designed as a learning hub that will look into high value species like grouper, pompano, sea bass, and other crustaceans such as lobster and blue swimming crab. This will be contributory in intensifying the fisheries production of the province, particularly the aforementioned species.

With this, the Bureau shall provide support to the establishment of the center through the conduct of underwater assessment which will serve as baseline study in identifying the specific sites for biodiversity and economic activities in the area. Other technical assistance will also be rendered in close coordination with the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI), academe and other research institutions.

Furthermore, BFAR XI, in collaboration with the Philippine Army in the province will also continue its commitment to support the backyard fishpond project of the Regional Task Force to End Local Communist Armed Conflict (RTF-ELCAC), in the efforts to attain inclusive development and sustainable peace. Supply of quality fingerlings and technical support shall be provided to the identified sites.

On the other hand, continuous coordination with the provincial government and other partner law enforcement agencies shall be conducted to intensify the 7th year implementation of DA-DILG Joint Administrative Order No. 02, “Davao Gulf Closed Season”, and other fishery law enforcement activities. The activities aim to contribute to the protection and conservation of the Davao Gulf as well as prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) in the area.

These efforts are geared toward a sustainable and increased agri-fisheries productivity and profitability, fish sufficiency and food security, in line with the new thinking approach of Secretary William “Manong Willie” Dar in envisioning a food-secure Philippines with prosperous farmers and fisherfolk.

 

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