Members of the Panguil Bay Development Council (PBDC) and Iligan Bay Development Council (IBDC) converged at the Lala Fish Farm and Training Center (LFFTC) here on 21 November 2016 to discuss the pressing issues besetting the Panguil Bay, which straddles the provinces of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur.
Narciso N. Minguito Jr., Capture Fisheries Section chief of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-10 presented the agency’s observations on the fish corrals being set up in the bay by certain operators. He said these fish corrals were installed against the current with fine mesh net at the catching chamber, and the distance between fish corrals is too close.
To protect the larvae, crablets, fry, fingerlings from being caught, the BFAR has recommended that the fish corrals be installed perpendicular to the shoreline, use not less than 3cm single net, and observe a distance of not less than 60 meters.
Minguito emphasized that “juvenile organisms” in the bay should be spared to ensure steady supply of fish and other marine products in the area.
On the other hand, Representative Abdullah Dimaporo of the second district of Lanao del Norte raised the problem of siltation in the Panguil Bay, which has affected the supply of prawns/shrimps from the bay.
Dimaporo asked the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Department of Agrarian Reform (DAR) not to award the public lands in the province to private individuals, as they would only make them into farmlands, thereby aggravating siltation in the Panguil Bay.
“I would like to request the DENR to assess the public lands not only in Lanao del Norte but also in the provinces of Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur, and start massive tree planting to prevent soil erosion,” the congressman pointed out.
Some mayors from the coastal towns of Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental and Zamboanga del Sur as well as the regional directors and representatives of the national government agencies and state colleges and universities came and participated in the meeting with Director Visa Tan-Dimerin of BFAR-Central Office as presiding officer. (FPG/PIA-10)