BFAR turns-over fishing boats to Panguil Bay fishers

After they were told to stop using “sanggab” (filter nets) in catching fish and prawns, some 167 fishermen along Panguil Bay can now go fishing the right way.

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Fiberglass reinforced plastic boats have been turned-over here yesterday to each of the affected fishermen from the municipalities of Baroy, Kolambugan, Maigo and Tubod in Lanao del Norte, Aurora and Tambulig in Zamboanga del Sur, and Ozamis City in Misamis Occidental. They will use these fishing boats with “government-approved” fishing gears.

Agriculture undersecretary and national director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), Commodore Eduardo B. Gongona together with BFAR-10 Regional Director Asuncion J. Maputol, municipal mayors and the members of the Panguil Bay Development Council (PBDC) and Iligan Bay Management Council (IBMC) personally handed the fishing boats to the recipients.

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In his message, Undersecretary Gongona underscored the importance of forging a stronger partnership between and among the local government units (LGUs), PBDC, IBMC, officials of the national government as well as the stakeholders “in ensuring the sustainable use and development of the two bodies of water.”

“After a series of rigorous consultations and deliberations, Panguil Bay was declared ‘sanggab’ or filter nets-free,” he said, adding “without your coordinated efforts and hard work, the conservation of this water resource would have really been a huge challenge.”

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‘The filter nets are destructive fishing gears that have seriously damaged the marine environment of Panguil Bay, affecting the volume and quality of catch of thousands of municipal fishers,” Gongona maintained.

In a related development, PBDC members are calling for the removal of tower type fish corrals within the bay, as these are also considered destructive. (FPG/PIA10)

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