DA reaffirms commitment to mangrove project
Louise Maureen Simeon (The Philippine Star) - January 2, 2016 - 9:00am

MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Agriculture (DA) is strengthening its aquasilviculture program, a multi-purpose production system that allows production of fish in a mangrove reforestation project.

Aquasilviculture which involves the growing of fish and other aquatic organisms within a mangrove area without cutting down a single tree is seen as an environment-friendly approach to enhance fisheries production in the wild, while at the same rehabilitate the mangrove habitat which currently represents less than a quarter of what used to be a 550,000-hectare mangrove cover in the 1950s.

Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said the  Philippine National Aquasilviculture Program (PNAP) had already planted 73,847,231 mangrove propagules or 73.85 percent of the total target as of the end of September last year.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)  has also procured several equipment including 27 units of 40-footer monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) vessels, 70 units of 30-footer multi-mission vessels, and two 50-meter vessels equipped with necessary special operations tools.

Other devices such as service fire arms, global positioning system (GPS), night vision goggles, scuba gears, and rigid-hulled inflatable rubber boats have also been procured.

The PNAP is a program  implemented by the BFAR, which aims to develop self-sufficient fisherfolk families who are advocates of fisheries resource protection through mangrove habitat rehabilitation, promotion of aquasilviculture and establishment of community-based  multi-species hatcheries.

Based on government data, there are already 1,632,332 registered municipal fisherfolks and 118, 222 registered municipal boats.

According to the DA, the fisheries subsector grew  1.8 percent in the third quarter of 2015 on the back of increased tuna production.

Skipjack (gulyasan) production went up 15.88 percent during the period, the highest growth rate among tuna species.

Eastern little tuna (Bonito) registered a1.88 percent growth while yellowfin tuna (tambakol) increased  by 6.67 percent.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO ALCALA AQUASILVICULTURE BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FISHERIES MANGROVE NBSP PERCENT PHILIPPINE NATIONAL AQUASILVICULTURE PROGRAM PRODUCTION TUNA
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