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Cebu News

Fishermen want dive site opened

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CEBU, Philippines - With the very minimum income they get from fishing, fisher folk in Carmen town in northern Cebu is hoping that the government will open the dive site in Barangay Luyang before 2015.

“Among damgo nga sa di pa maabot ang 2015, mahimo na ning dive site para makabenepisyo pud ming mga mangisdaay,” said Esteban Jayson, 57, a local fisherman.

Jayson, who heads the Luyang Fishermen’s Assocation (LuFA), said that once the 36.7-hectare sanctuary becomes a dive site, fishermen in the town will benefit from it because they can be tapped as guides for divers just like in other dive sites in the province like Hilutongan in Cordova Island and Moalboal town in Western Cebu.

Tapping fishermen as guides won’t be a problem, Jayson said, because most of Luyang’s 200 fishermen have their own motorized boats.

The Carmen local government has already approved the user’s fees for divers or snorkelers who may want to visit the town’s underwater sanctuary. What remains to be done, Jayson said, is to open the site officially to the public.

Fr. Charlie Orobia, a diver and vice president of the Knight-Stewards of the Sea, Inc. (Seaknights), said the species that can be found at Luyang’s marine sanctuary are unique to the area and can actually make Luyang the next dive destination in Cebu.

Orobia, along with other divers from Seaknights surveyed the sanctuary last week. He said Luyang holds a variety of marine species like clam shells, healthy corals, and different kinds of fish, among others.

What sets the area apart, he said, is that it does not manifest signs of abuse like effects of dynamite fishing as evidenced by the absence of coral rubbles.

Still, Orobia recommended that all mechanisms must be put in place before the dive site is made open to the public. — (FREEMAN)

BARANGAY LUYANG

CEBU

CHARLIE OROBIA

CORDOVA ISLAND AND MOALBOAL

ESTEBAN JAYSON

JAYSON

KNIGHT-STEWARDS OF THE SEA

LUYANG

LUYANG FISHERMEN

OROBIA

SEAKNIGHTS

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