Monday, October 15, 2012

Fish Conservation Week… 
Gov’t focuses on increased 
Fish stocks, enforcement 
Rey Anthony Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 12, 2012 (PIA)—Confronted with a multitude of fishery problems including alleged price cartels, fishery officials said most of the government focus is into increasing fish stocks and strengthening enforcement capabilities of communities for sustainable fisheries. 

At the Kapihan sa PIA Thursday, October 11, to commemorate the Fish Conservation Week starting October 14, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Provincial Fisheries officer Cresencio Pahamutang and coastal resource management coordinator Adelfa Salutan said most government agencies are now into developing aquaculture and marine parks to assure quality fish and reliable in the Visayas. 

At the radio forum on air to commemorate the Fish Conservation Week beginning Sunday, October 14, Salutan said Bohol is still the largest fish supplier in the Visayas. 

She however said that its ironic that fish price in Bohol is high, despite the supply, which comes right from here. 

Most Boholanos ascribe to the price disparity between Bohol its neighboring islands, to a highly organized and well-connected cartel that manipulates prices here. 

For its part, government fishery authorities said fighting the problem from their end is making sure there is sustainable supply to cope with the demand to hopefully bring the price down. 

On this, BFAR said making sure there is enough supply of fish means rehabilitating resources especially replanting abandoned fish ponds with mangroves as well as reclaiming damaged mangrove areas, considering that undisturbed mangroves provide the perfect habitat for fish to spawn and reproduce, Pahamutang said. 

Other than that, BFAR as well as other government agencies are into assisting local government units put up their legislated marine sanctuaries to provide areas where fish can spawn and survive until they can mature and swim farther. 

BFAR has also developed some 50 hectares of marine and aquaculture parks in Bohol, according to Pahamutang. 

These parks are in Mabini, Candijay, Talibon, Calape and Maribojoc, where fish cages are put up to culture grouper, bangus and tilapia to make sure fish is easily available when needed. 

Aside from the assuring salt-water fish stocks in mari-culture parks, BFAR also assists communities in establishing freshwater fisheries stocks in backyard fishponds. 

Meanwhile, Assistant Provincial Agriculturist Larry Pamugas also revealed that their office is actively helping farmers increase their income by motivating them to grow freshwater fish in their farms or in irrigation facilities. 

On keeping the fish stocks available for marginal fishers, Bohol Environment Management Office (BEMO) CRM coordinator Salutan said the Capitol is into assisting communities in strengthening their coastal law enforcement programs. 

Salutan admits that costal communities have reported that in several instances, commercial fishers breach into municipal waters and fish from there. 

The Fisheries Code of the Philippines delineates the first 15 kilometers of water from the shoreline as exclusive waters for municipal fisheries. 

But, commercial fishers with their sophisticated fish finders stray into municipal waters and take everything, thus depriving marginal fishers of catch. 

To keep this from happening, Salutan urged coastal communities, Coastal Law Enforcement Councils (CLEC) and municipal CLECS to be vigilant and report immediately cases of breaches. 

This as Capitol, through BEMO assures more strengthening and capability building trainings for MCLEC and CLECS especially in the enforcement of municipal laws and marine sanctuary protection. 

The move is also in line with the Fish Conservation Week Theme: Maunlad na Pangisdaan makamtan sa matatag na balikatan (30/ed)

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BCRMTF bare weeklong 
Activities for Bohol FCW 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol, October 12, 2012 (PIA) –Bohol Coastal Resource Management Task Force (BCRMTF) spearheads the activities of the weeklong Fish Conservation Week (FCW) October 14-19 and the World Food Day on Tuesday. 

Task Force head and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources fishery officer Cresencio Pahamutang said the task force hopes to forge collaboration and partnerships in this year’s effort to increase fish stocks and properly watch over the resources so no abuse could threaten the local fish supply. 

At the weekly Kapihan sa PIA, Pahamutang explained that on the 49th anniversary of the Fish Conservation Week, the country adopts the theme: “Maunlad na Pangisdaan Makakamtan sa Matatag na Balikatan” as a fitting call to engage communities in partnerships and collaboration to attain sustainable fisheries. 

At the same forum aired live over DyTR AM, coastal resource management coordinator based at the Bohol Environment Management office admitted that there is a dire need to strengthen and capacitate more people in the communities to help guard municipal waters from poaching commercial fishers. 

Adelfa Salutan, Bohol CRM coordinator also reiterated the need for more participation in guarding Bohol’s 172 marine protected areas (MPA) now declared individually in each town as areas where fishing is strictly prohibited to assure continued fish stocks by providing areas for fish stocks to replenish. 

Lined up for this year’s fish conservation week are activities that include hanging of streamers, reading of a pastoral letter for sustainable fisheries and reminding people of their responsibilities as caretakers on the opening day of the week, October 14. 

On Monday October 15, the BCRMTF leads the opening of the weeklong activities with a parade participated in by the local government, fisher folks and students in Jagna town, according to Pahamutang. 

After the parade, a short program happens with a highlight on information, education and communication campaign that tackles topics on Basic Fishery Laws, Climate Proofing: adaptation and mitigation on climate change and ecological solid waste management, still in Jagna. 

On Tuesday, just as the world commemorates World Food Day, Bohol activity shifts to the Bohol Quality Atrium for a commemorative program, where the task force leads the day’s activities. 

On the same day, BCRMTF leads the massive dispersal activities of tilapia, carps and other fresh water fish stock in rivers, streams and waterways that supports fish, the main activity centered in Poblacion Bilar. 

On Wednesday, October 17, a techno demonstration on bangus deboning happens at the Provincial Fisheries Office, a skill that assures more income for bangus growers who could sell the fish harvest at a higher price when processed, Pahamutang said. 

The general public is also invited to join the task force in a massive mangrove planting project at Bool District on the 19th. 

The BCRMTF again leads the activity, which starts at 7:00 in the morning, when the tide is at its lowest, and this affords easier planting of the targeted 10,000 propagules at a designated site below the Blood Compact site in Bool, the fishery officer announced during the aired forum. (30)

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Ambassador offers Polish 
help in church restoration 
Rey Anthony H. Chiu 

TAGBILARAN CITY, Bohol October 12, 2012 (PIA)—Polish Ambassador to the Philippines Adam Jelonek could not help it but be mesmerized by the old churches in Bohol. 

But, he hinted that the conservation and preservation of these iconic historical structures could be enhanced by tapping proper authorities. 

Himself immersed in a day-tour in Bohol while traveling in cognito last October 8, Ambassador Jelonek, who was born in the heritage city of Krakow, Poland shared that conserving heritage sites properly is giving them the rightful value in history of a nation and its people. 

A city dotted with 10th to 18th century buildings, Krakow has gone into stringent conservation and restoration program that criminalizes homeowners who incorrectly alter and ruin the integrity of their own houses declared as heritage sites, shared the Malaysia-based Polis diplomat. 

Tactfully skirting strained relations between his country and foreign states, the ambassador hinted possible help from his country in sending a team of technical experts to help Bohol. 

These may not be the best worldwide, but these workers may be able to suggest better ways of scientific restoration, better than the way workers are doing in Bohol’s historical treasures. 

Among the churches which the ambassador saw were St. Joseph’s Cathedral, Baclayon and Loboc. 

In Baclayon and in Loboc, church and heritage authorities failed to obtain “expert opinion” on putting up galvanized iron sheets in place of the original adobe tile roofing. 

While authorities argue that galvanized iron sheets are lighter compared to the sheer weight of adobe tiles on the already weakened church walls and buttresses, Jelonek hinted that choosing the tin sheets have their downsides. 

He did not elaborate however what these could be in centuries old churches. 

In Poland, he said, the government treats heritage structures like treasures, reasoning out that even modern buildings could turn out to be definitive of the country’s history a few decades after it was built. 

Following the ambassador’s offer for help, a meeting with the bishop of Tagbilaran was immediately inserted in the diplomat’s schedule, through the intercession of the ambassador’s host in Bohol: Peter Dejaresco. 

The bishop of the Diocese of Tagbilaran oversees all church properties in the diocese and thus has supervisory control in the conservation and preservation programs of Baclayon and Loboc churches. 

Ambassador Jelonek coached bishop Leonardo Medroso, of the proper channels and contacts for Bohol to be able to tap the expertise of Polish conservateurs, during a brief meeting at the bishop’s residence in Taloto. 

With the development, Bohol heritage sites conservation could gain a new direction, a push into the right way for a people to finally give merits to its built heritage. (30)

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