BFAR installs 20 more payao for Zambales fishers

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources yesterday deployed 20 more units of payao, a fish aggregating device, in the coastal waters of Zambales which will benefit marginal fishermen affected by the existing ban on fishing at the Bajo de Masinloc.

The payao were deployed from 10 to 15-kilometers from the shoreline of the following municipalities – Botolan, Cabangan, Narciso, San Felipe and San Antonio. Earlier, 5 payao units were deployed in Masinloc, Candelaria, Sta. Cruz and Paluig.
The Bureau’s 60-meter research and oceanographic vessel, the M/V DA-BFAR was used in the deployment of the said devices.

BFAR director Atty. Asis G. Perez said that these payao would benefit at least 750 to 1000 fishermen as 30 to 40 fishermen can fish on each unit.  The bureau has earmarked a total of 150 units  payao in the municipal waters of the West Philippine Sea which will be completely deployed after the habagat season.

In addition, the Zambales fishermen will also be given multiple handline fishing gears with C-hooks to ensure that only big species of fish are caught in the payao. Unlike the common J-shaped hooks, the C-hook has been found to be safe for turtles who might accidentally feed on the bait. A total of 1,500 units will be provided by the bureau to all coastal municipalities in the province.

Perez also said that some P2.4M has been earmarked for the planting of 400,000 mangrove propagules in Zambales as part of its mangrove rehabilitation efforts. Under this program, affected fishermen could earn as much as P6.00 for each surviving mangrove propagule planted.

He explained that at 3,000 pieces, a fisherman could earn as much as P10,500.00 for planting and an additional P7,500.00 after a year when all the mangrove propagules  would survive. At least 800 displaced fishermen could be given supplemental livelihood under this scheme. On the average, a fishermen earns only P2,800.00 per month.

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