Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA) chairman, Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, said the province of Davao Oriental (DavOr) is set to become one of the 22 recipients of fish centers to be established in Mindanao.
In a statement on Sunday, the agency said Piñol made the announcement during the first-ever Aqua-Fishery Summit on Thursday (August 27). The project is touted to improve the province’s promising aqua-fishery industry.
Completing the value chain for the fishery sector, Piñol said in the statement that it will be connected virtually to each other and to the market which will facilitate better sales and exchanges.
He added that the City of Mati will be the beneficiary of a fish processing plant that the program will fund.
Support packages will also include the provision of ice makers and blast freezers, cold storage, and fish dryers.
In his speech during the summit, Piñol said that considering Davao Oriental’s vast potentials, it has been included in MinDA’s Mindanao Fisheries and Aquaculture Development (MinFAD) program, making it one of the key players in the fishery sector along with other coastal provinces in the island of Mindanao.
Gaps, issues, and concerns affecting production and business systems in the local fishery were also discussed during the summit.
Provincial Agriculture Office department head Rotchie Ravelo said that among the challenges of the fishery industry are climate change, natural and man-made disasters, weak legislative mechanism, and the so-called “brown” development that involves the redevelopment of mangrove areas, rivers and beaches into other purposes such as resorts and human settlement areas.
Other concerns raised were the difficult market access and unstable price movements for “bangus” or milkfish and vannamei shrimp produce.
Governor Nelson Dayanghirang, meanwhile, emphasized the role of law enforcement as he reminded everyone that the task to maintain peace in fishing communities is a shared responsibility by all stakeholders.
He pointed out the role of coastal community-dwelling fisherfolk who have knowledge of illegal fishing activities in keeping the peace in their respective areas.
“There is a need for marginalized fishers to use or be provided with larger fishing vessels that they may be able to compete with other commercial fishers,” Dayanghirang also said. (PNA)