In an effort to promote sustainable aquaculture productivity, the Provincial Government of Pampanga and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) joined hands in meeting with a thousand fishpond operators during a forum on Friday, August 26.
The event titled "Forum on Food Security and Sustainable Aquaculture for Fishpond Operators" was held at the Pineda Sports Complex of Lubao, Pampanga and was organized by the Provincial Government thru Governor Lilia G. Pineda and the Office of former President and now Pampanga 2nd District Representative Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo.
Various lectures were given on fish farming, fishpond management, and good aquaculture practices. The fishpond operators heard from BFAR experts on tilapia culture and its status within the Central Luzon fish industry.
An open forum between and among lecturers and fishpond operators was also conducted. Several public officials, including Congresswoman Arroyo, expressed their support to the operators and wished the continued productivity of aquaculture in Pampanga.
Department of Agriculture (DA) Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona attended the event. During his speech, Usec. Gongona emphasized the importance of aquaculture to the country's over-all fisheries production. "As one of the primary sources of fish in the country, aquaculture remains a top performer in the fisheries sector and provides livelihood to thousands of Filipinos," he said while congratulating the provincial government.
The Fisheries Undersecretary also said that the government through BFAR will give its full support to fish farmers and the fisheries sector as a whole in line the Duterte Administrations' goal of attaining food sufficiency for the entire country. He urged the sector to continuously cooperate with the government while it works on further improving the status of the aquaculture industry.
More than 90% (150,000 metric tons) of Pampanga's fisheries production come from aquaculture and this accounts for nearly 4% of the country's fisheries production or over 60% of Region III.
As a show of support to the province, BFAR awarded 15 fiberglass boats and 100 gill nets which former President Arroyo and Governor Pineda turned over to fisherfolk beneficiaries from the coastal towns of Lubao and Sasmuan.
The distribution of fiberglass boats and fishing gears is part of the DA's thrust toward sustainable fisheries production. Thru empowering the fisheries sector, the department hopes to achieve food sufficiency in the next six years.
Source: Philippine Information Agency