DAVAO CITY, Oct. 14 (PIA) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-11) has listed 40,000 fisherfolks from across the region, who registered online as of this month with the National Program on Municipal Fisherfolk Registration or FishR.
BFAR-11 regional director Fatma Idris said the data is far from the 18,000 list of fisherfolks in Davao Region recorded by the agency in the past years.
Idris underscored the importance of the online registration of municipal fisherfolks as the focus of the celebration of the 51st Fish Conservation Week which commenced on Monday (Oct. 13) at BFAR-11 regional office, this city.
This year’s FishCon theme that states: “Sektor ng mga Mangingisdang Rehistrado at Kinilala, Kabalikat sa Pagsulong ng Pangisdaan Masagana,” is anchored on the success of the comprehensive national registration of fisherfolks, she said.
Idris said the data will be their basis on assessing and identifying beneficiaries for the various livelihood projects of BFAR.
The list will also be useful for PhilHealth to determine recipients for its health care coverage program for the indigents.
The online registration efforts will also help facilitate the implementation of the government’s crop insurance program which will now benefit the fisherfolks.
Idris bared that the bulk of fisherfolks in the region is found in Davao Oriental, saying “We will focus our livelihood projects in Davao Oriental province.”
In a message read by Idris during the FishCon celebration, BFAR director Atty. Asis G. Perez said that more than 1.2 million fisherfolks nationwide have registered since the start of the FishR effort in January this year.
Perez expects that the count will increase before the year ends. “Ngayon may konkreto na tayong basehan sa pagpapadaloy n gating mga programa sa pamamagitan ng FishR, inaasahan natin ang mabilis, angkop at tukoy na pagpapatupad ng mga ito,” he stated.
Apart from the fisherfolk registration efforts, BFAR-11 continues to strengthen its watch over Davao Gulf as the closure season ended August this year, which means that commercial fishing is now allowed from September to May but only outside the municipal waters.
Idris said its two patrol boats still keep on monitoring illegal fishing within the Davao Gulf which covers coastal areas from the municipality of Don Marcelino in Davao Occidental to Governor Generoso in Davao Oriental.
She said the annual closure season from June to August has been effective and successful in protecting the spawning period of pelagic fishes with the 23-hectare gulf area.