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PIA Press Release
Tuesday, January 17, 2012

 

BFAR 2 starts mangrove rehab project

by Thelma C. Bicarme

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan, Jan. 16 (PIA) -- The fisheries bureau in Cagayan Valley has started the implementation of its Mangrove Plantation Project which is part of a nationwide program to plant around 11 million mangrove seedlings to cover 3,667 hectares mangrove areas in the entire country.

The project aims to restore mangrove forests, mitigate climate change and provide additional source of source of livelihood for the coastal folks.

Max Prudencio, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) information officer said that in Region 2, around 45,000 seedlings have been planted particularly in the towns of Sta. Teresita, Buguey and Aparri in Cagayan and Palanan, Isabela. This exceeded the bureau’s target of 300,000 mangrove seedlings to be planted in the two provinces.

According to Venchito Villarao, officer-in-charge of the Coastal Resource Management Section and Cagayan Provincial Fishery Action Officer of BFAR RO2, the mangrove rehabilitation project currently being implemented is different from the previous practice of simply planting then leaving the delicate seedling to survive on its own.

“We will pay our fisherfolk associations who will provide and plant the seedlings, and render the necessary care to ensure that the seedlings will survive and grow,” Villarao said.

The CRM expert further said the BFAR will inspect planted areas after one year to see if the seedlings planted have survived. “We will again provide additional payment to the planters based on the number of surviving plants and eventually the project will be turned-over to the association as additional source of livelihood,” Villarao added.

Seedlings will consist mostly of nipa, due to its short maturity period of only three years and the number of economic benefits that can be derived from the plant. Nipa leaves are used to make shingles, which in turn is used as roofing or as partition material. Sap is also extracted from its fruit stem which is processed to make vinegar and wine.

Villarao said mangroves provide a number of economic and ecological benefits such as source of fishery products of both estuarine and coastal fishes estimated at 20 to 30 tons of fish per year per square kilometer; shoreline protection and as first defense during typhoon surges and tsunami; carbon sink and sequestration; sediment trapping; as nursery and habitat for various species; source of forest products like timber and firewood; and for aesthetic purposes.

In addition to the mangrove restoration project, the BFAR 2 has also forged last January 9, a Memorandum of Agreement with the school heads of Isabela State University – Roxas, Cagayan State University – Aparri, Abulug School of Fisheries, and Sabtang National School of Fisheries for the establishment of a community-based multi-species hatchery in their respective schools.

The mangrove restoration and community-based hatchery projects are funded under the 2011 President’s Economic Pump-priming Initiative. (TCB/PIA 2)

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