Some of the fishermen have returned to their livelihood but the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 has not yet cleared the fish catch.This was reported by 2GO Ormoc Manager, Calvin Rosellosa.
Larson Tan, chief of Fisheries Resources and Management Division of BFAR 7, said they are still waiting for the result of the hydro-carbon analysis of the University of the Philippines Visayas if the fish in Cordova is safe to eat. They have also sentshellfish and sea cucumber samples for analysis.
As of now, BFAR 7 still prohibits the eating of seafoods from the oil-contaminated coasts. However, the Bakasi, a species of fish roughly translated in English as Tiger Reef Eel that is said to be aphrodisiac, is safe to eat. The fish, which is prevalent in Cordova, usually hides in holes if they sense harm of oil. Tan said they have tried to eat one in Buagsong and they encountered no problem.
BFAR 7 also extended a mangrove nursery project, which gave the affected folks to earn cash while still waiting for their seawaters to recover. Tan said the registered fisher folk must be a bonafide resident of Cordova and not a recipient of PantawidPamilyang Pilipino Program to qualify for the project. Tan said they are giving propagules and plastics bags. The fisher folk will only plant the propagules on the pot and for every potting they produce they will be paid P2. They will get additional P3 for every pot of mangrove they have planted.
Tan said they have prepared 500 pieces of propagules for every household but in some barangays two or three household shared the 500 pieces. The mangrove nursery is completed. About 90 percent of the beneficiaries in Bangbang, Ibabao, Day-as, Catarman, and Alegria were already paid.
Tan also announced their next livelihood program for the oil spill affected families. Around 110 household in eleven barangays will become direct beneficiaries of selling tempura, fish balls, and squid balls. Each household-beneficiary will be given P750 as seed money.
BFAR 7 is also finalizing their gasoline subsidy project for the fisher folks who have boats to fish away from Cordova. However, the beneficiarymust register their banca’s at the municipality to be able to meet the requirements to avail of the three liters of gasoline subsidy from BFAR 7. (Xerxes Alkuino)