The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office here awarded on Thursday some PHP10 million worth of fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) boats of varying sizes to Zambales fishermen venturing into the West Philippine Sea.
BFAR Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz said the boats are motorized and with complete fishing accessories that can be used by those fishing more than 15 kilometers from the shoreline.
“Ine-expect natin na kakayanin ng mga bangkang ito na pumalaot, partikular doon sa Bajo de Masinloc at syempre, maragdagan ang produksyon ng mga isda na nanggagaling sa West Philippine Sea (We expect that these boats can venture particularly at the Bajo de Masinloc and of course, the production of fish coming from the West Philippine Sea will increase),” Cruz said in social media post.
He said the program is under the bureau’s “F/B Pagbabago”, which is among BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona’s priority projects that aim to improve fishermen’s livelihood by providing them with durable boats.
F/B Pagbabago focal person Pierre Velasco said through the new boats, sustainable and responsible fishing is expected not just for the beneficiaries but also for the future generations of fishermen.
The 10 “mother” boats, which are 38-footer fishing vessels, were distributed to fishermen’s groups consisting of six to eight individuals each.
Each mother boat is accompanied by a set of six 16-footer, also motorized catcher boats or “pakura” which are made of the same materials.
Fisheries Production and Support Division (FPSSD) Capture Section officer-in charge Joseph Bitara said the catcher boats can be loaded to the larger mother boat so that it can simply disembark even offshore.
“Doing so will maximize the capture capability of Masinloc fishermen who are mostly tuna hand liners,” Bitara said.
So far, a total of 70 boats have been distributed to eligible fishermen in Masinloc. (PNA)