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PIA Press Release

Kalibo to operate hatchery soon; aims to be WV's "bulgan" supplier

by Venus G. Villanueva

Kalibo, Aklan (13 February) -- Fishery experts from SEAFDEC and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources recently conducted assessment of Kalibo's "Bulgan" (sea bass) hatchery to determine its readiness to operate soon.

The fish hatchery will be operated by Kalibo town's Municipal Agricultural Services Division. The hatchery assessment was requested by Kalibo Mayor Raymar Rebaldo through a letter addressed to BFAR 6 Regional Director Malcolm Sarmiento.

"Bulgan" or sea bass is of one of the country's resilient fish species which could thrive in changing water temperature and climate. It also matures fast so propagation for commercial purposes is ideal.

In Aklan, sea bass is very much in demand, especially in the island of Boracay, which fetches a good price.

Kalibo's municipal officials are optimistic that with the sea bass hatchery operation, the town could be Western Visayas supplier of fingerlings and mature sea bass or "bulgan", as well.

The presence of government agencies here that aid farmers and fishermen in processing marine and meat products for added value and better marketing appeal could also enable "bulgan" to be an export product of Aklan, just like its Pina cloth, nito handicrafts and boneless bangus.

Coincidentally, Kalibo's move to be a sea bass producer jibed with the country's current program to promote agri-exports, which sea bass could be a part.

In a recent move to strengthen existing export markets and tap new ones for the country's agricultural products, the Department of Agriculture (DA) has teamed up with the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI), Foreign Affairs (DFA) and the Export Development Council (EDC) in promoting agricultural and fishery products overseas.

The four agencies, represented by Agriculture Secretary Yap, Trade Secretary Peter Favila, Foreign Affairs Secretary Alberto Romulo and Philippine Exports Confederation Sergio Ortiz-Luis signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) on this joint undertaking before the Cabinet meeting recently.

Yap said the MOA covers priority categories in the agri-fishery sector such as fresh and processed fruits and vegetables, marine products, root crops, natural fiber, horticulture, plantation crops, wood products, herbal products and natural ingredients.

Yap said the program to sustain and accelerate farm growth and raise the profitability of agriculture for its small stakeholders is in compliance with President Gloria Macapagal Arroyo's directive to focus on sustaining food security and creating jobs as embodied in the Medium Term Philippine Development Plan (MTPDP). (PIA) [top]

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