As their sea water was closed for fishing, fisher folks in Doong islet of Bantayan hoped to find alternative livelihood in Tilapia farming.
The provincial government, through the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA), held a Tilapia culture seminar and training last June 7 in Barangay Doong.
At least 40 members of Doong Fishermen’s Association (DOFA) attended the activity.
DOFA President RonquilloMarollano said, “Gusto namoipa-ilaila ang Tilapia farming diri sa amo kay posible man gud na kung naay bagyo wala miy sud anon. Amo sad gilantaw na mahimo kining livelihood namo kung makaani na kami.”
An experimental pond was established on a 100 square meter lot owned by Marollano. Marollano, who also serves as barangay kagawad, said he does not mind if he sacrificed his properties for this purpose as long as they would be able to see if this project is feasible in the area.
“But we will try our very best to make this successful. Dili kay suway lang ning ato,” he said.
Aylen Cielo, chief of fishery division, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist, said the project would have a huge impact on the residents in the islet. At least 80 percent of the 658 households in the island relyon fishing and seaweed farming.
Unfortunately, the El Niño phenomenon damaged their seaweeds in the previous months. The barangay also closed its seawaters for any fishing activity in compliance with the Philippine fishery code.
Cielo said since this is the first time that they have applied this project in an islet, this was considered as an experiment.
Usually, the Capitol implements Tilapia farm project for a community that has a minimum area of 500 square meters convertible to fish pond.
The project was fully supported by Dr. Roldan Saragena, who was able to see the damaged seaweeds in the islet in his separate visit two months ago. Aside from Doong islet, some fishermen in another islet of Barangay Lipayran are also considering to venture into Tilapia farming.