Fishermen devastated by Yolanda to have access to hybrid boats
Pia Lee-Brago (The Philippine Star) - June 8, 2014 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Small-scale fisherfolk whose livelihoods were devastated by Super Typhoon Yolanda will soon have access to hybrid boats, which will use both wood and fiberglass while maintaining traditional Philippine bangka designs, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) said yesterday.

The hybrid boat, the first of its kind, is being developed by the FAO and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). It will have built-in buoyancy tanks and other features that ensure floatability and durability.

The boats are expected to be completed within two months.

Traditionally, local boat builders use a specific type of protected hardwood tree to build the keel or kasko.

Following BFAR’s recommendations, the FAO, through the support of the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID), has developed a new prototype that replicates the design of the bangka but uses fiberglass instead of hardwood for the keel.

The use of fiberglass is helpful in preserving hardwood trees and deterring illegal forestry practices.

To foster sustainability, boat builders, nongovernment organizations, technical staff of local governments and BFAR personnel will be trained in building and repairing hybrid boats.

Knowledge on boat construction and maintenance is expected to be passed on to 3,000 boat builders and carpenters.

BFAR BOAT BOATS BUILDERS BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES FAO FIBERGLASS FOOD AND AGRICULTURE ORGANIZATION HARDWOOD INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT SUPER TYPHOON YOLANDA
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