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BFAR turns over commercial fishing boats to Bohol

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol (PIA) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently turned over two fiberglass boats to Bohol in a bid to bring down prices of fish in the province. 

According to Salvio Madanguit, coordinator of the Fish Buy-Back Program, the fiberglass boats are a big boost to the provincial government’s measures to stabilize the prices of fish here. 

The Bohol Baratong Isda Task Force earlier reported that there is a shortfall in the fish supply in the province after Typhoon Odette destroyed fishing boats, fish cages, ponds, and other fishery facilities across the province when it hit the country in 2013. 

Fishermen were also forced to sell their fish catch to businessmen at a much lower price as they don’t have a cold storage facility.

Gov. Erico Aristotle Aumentado earlier sought the help of BFAR in providing commercial fishing boats to fishermen’s groups which the province has organized so they are eligible to receive grants from the government. 

“The fishing boats should be designed for handline or net fishing,” said Madanguit. 

The fisherfolks’ organizations will then receive modern fishing boats so they can fish even beyond the municipal waters, he added. 

Under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, only small-scale and artisanal fishers can fish within 15 kilometers of municipal waters from the shoreline.

Commercial fishers are allowed beyond the 15-kilometer boundary.

With this, BFAR committed to provide 10 units of 38-footer fiberglass boats to Bohol, along with six units of “pakura” which will serve as catcher boats. 

Each fiberglass boat is equipped with a fish finder and sonar and cargo hold that will serve as a chiller, said Madanguit. 

The two boats will be turned over to Guindulman and Panglao towns. 

BFAR said the remaining eight boats will arrive in Bohol in the following months. (RAHC/PIA-7 Bohol)

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Rachelle Nessia

Assistant Regional Head

Region 7

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