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PIA Press Release

Fisheries growth on track despite drought says BFAR

by EA Abasquez

San Jose, Antique (12 September) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Malcolm Sarmiento in a report said actual production in the first semester and projected growth in the 2nd half will bring total yields in the fisheries sector on track at nearly five million metric tons (MT) for 2007.

The Department of Agriculture (DA) expects the expansion of the fisheries sector, the biggest growth-driver last year to remain on target for the second semester of 2007 even assuring a worst-case scenario of a prolonged dry spell lasting until December.

Actual production of the aquaculture, commercial and municipal fisheries sectors totaled 1.67 million tons (MT) in the first quarter and 1.495 million MT in the second quarter, the report said.

In the province, the Bureau of Agricultural Statistics (BAS) bared that fisheries combined production from commercial and municipal sectors covering the period January to June 2007 posted 12,304 MT valued at P629.570 million. Aquaculture production of the same period reached 34,612.34 MT with a value of P128.577 million.

The BFAR director pointed out that the dry spell is even beneficial for the culture of milk fish and salt-tolerant tilapia which can tolerate higher water temperature and salinity in brackish ponds.

Other mitigation measures that BFAR will put in place to compensate for potential losses in the fisheries sector as a result of the dry spell in Luzon, include harvesting rain water in non-drought areas by means of small impoundments and canal systems from bigger bodies of water, Sarmiento added. (PIA) [top]

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