KIDAPAWAN CITY (MindaNews/27 May) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Southwestern Mindanao is bent on promoting mariculture as a major livelihood for coastal fisherfolk in Sultan Kudarat province, according to BFAR-12 regional director Sani Macabalang.
Macabalang said the livelihood project will enhance and hasten socio-economic growth and food security not only in Sultan Kudarat province but also in the entire region.
Mariculture is a specialized branch of aquaculture which involves the cultivation of marine organisms for food and other products in the open sea.
BFAR is set to establish a mariculture park and other support services and facilities, including cold storage, transport and market access, feed processors, multi-species hatcheries or nurseries and seaweed farming to allow fisher folks to operate at less cost.
The bureau will establish the mariculture project either in Barangay Sta. Clara or Barangay Dumagas Nuevo, both in Kalamansig town.
Macabalang said the park will produce different species for sea cage culture like milkfish, rabbit fish [danggit], trevally [talakitok] and grouper. Mussel culture and seaweed will also be included.
He said the project intends to develop skilled and technically capable fisher folks to support the mariculture industry in the region.
The planned mariculture park will have three different areas – fully-developed areas with pre-installed cages for the marginalized sectors, semi-developed areas with mooring facilities for small investors and bare areas for big shareholders.
A two-year rent-to-own scheme will be introduced for marginalized fisher folks or residents with BFAR providing eight fish cages with a size of 10 m x 10 m.
On the other hand, small investors are allowed a maximum of two mooring spaces. Each mooring space is designed for a maximum cage space of 20 m x 20 m.
“With the opening of Kalamansig Mariculture Park this year, more investors will be coming in and venturing on mariculture production which means generation of jobs for the unemployed including the youth,” said Macabalang.
The Kalamansig Mariculture Park is also expected to increase fish stocks in the coastal waters and promote ecotourism development in Sultan Kudarat. (Malu Cadelina Manar/MindaNews)