Ifugao hosts 2nd Regional Loach "Yuyu" Congress
by Vency D. Bulayungan
Hungduan, Ifugao (10 October) -- In line with the national government's poverty alleviation program, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources(BFAR) in coordination with the Department of Agriculture and the provincial government here conducted recently a two day Regional "Yu-yu" Congress here.
The congress featured the support of the Provincial Government and BFAR to the development of yuyu here. "Yuyu" or the Japanese fish is the One Town One Product of this municipality.
BFAR National Director Malcolm Sarmiento Jr. cited the growing fishery in the province posing the challenge to the Ifugaos to expand hatchery to include carp.
Sarmiento promised to render assistance in making Cordillera fish sufficient. Allocation for aquaculture are included in next years national budget with appropriations for laboratory equipment and technical training, he said.
To ensure food sufficiency, he encouraged fisherfolks or farmers to submit proposals in line with the objectives of rice and fish adequacy. "Fish insufficiency is unacceptable in a country within the coral triangle which is comparable to the Amazon Forest biodiversity," Sarmiento said.
On the other hand Governor Teddy Baguilat Jr, informed that Ifugao is producing 55% of the fishery production of the Cordillera. Aside from tilapia which are clean because of running water and the fishes are fed with less feeds, 'yuyu' and Pangasius are also being produced in the province.
Farmers here revealed that yuyu played a great role in the nutrition of the upland areas in the region. It has sustained their fish protein requirement until the advent of the cash economy when the value of yuyu is no longer appreciated.
Yuyu production here as well as other upland areas of the region revolves around the rice production system. Rice is planted in January or February and harvested in June and July. After rice is planted, catching yuyu is not allowed until harvest is completed in July.
Unknowingly, the Ifugaos are practicing the fishery resource management technique of observing close season when the fish are allowed to grow and reproduce, and the open season when fisherfolk can harvest the fish. Despite the practice, the farmers believe that production has declined in recent years not only in Ifugao but all over Cordillera. (PIA-Ifugao) [top]