18 October 2013
BFAR launches fisherfolk registration in ARMM
Cotabato City- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (BFAR-ARMM) has launched today the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) in the region as one of the highlights of the 50th Fish Conservation Week on October 13-19.
FishR is designed to help BFAR fast-track, enhance and complete the municipal fisherfolk registration nationwide as required under Section 19 of Republic Act 8550 otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
The outcome of the FishR program would help local governments manage, regulate, conserve and protect fishery resources and help the national governent establish a Comprehensive Fishery Information System, according to Janice Musali, BFAR-ARMM director.
Musali said they target to register 100,000 to 200,000 fisherfolks in the whole region that would include municipal fisherfolks, fish workers and fishing operators.
“We have timed the program’s launching this week in view of its significance to the protection and conservation of our fisheries and aquatic resources, which is the main theme of the observance of the fish conservation week,” she said.
Other activities in line with the weeklong celebration included fish cooking contest, fish processing demo, mangrove planting in Sultan Mastura, Maguindanao, fingerlings dispersal, fishing gears and seaweed inputs distribution in some areas of ARMM and a sports fest among the bureau’s workers.
Musali said they have also distributed 300 patrol boats to identified coastal municipalities.
ARMM, which is made up of Lanao del Sur, Maguindanao, Sulu, Basilan and Tawi-Tawi, is one of the country’s major fishery areas. It is home to the second largest lake in country-Lake Lanao in Marawi City and remains as the country’s top producer of seaweeds.
In 2012, it recorded a total of 845,231.90 metric tons of fish and fishery products with commercial fisheries garnering a total production of 70,592.05 metric tons, a percentage higher than the previous year.(bpi)