Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Regional Office No. 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
Telefax: (054) 361-2326
BFAR-Bicol, IIMC Plant 50,000 Mangroves in Apuao Island
Mercedes, Camarines Norte - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Regional Office No. 5 in partnership with the Inter-Island Management Council (IIMC) of the municipality officially kicked off its Mangrove Plantation Project in the Bicol Region by planting 50,000 mangrove propagules in Apuao Island, Mercedes, Camarines Norte on December 13, 2011.
The mangrove plantation project aims to revert mangrove wilderness in areas within the Bicol Region that has once been vast but was degraded due to illegal cutting, fishpond conversion and other domestic uses.
Small islands like Apuao are particularly vulnerable to sea level rise as it can cause substantial loss of lands. With the coastal communities living in foreshore areas, loss of settlement is a real threat which puts more burdens to women, who are in charge of household maintenance. Thus, mangrove resources can help mitigate these threats.
Looking at the lens of Climate Change Adaptation (CCA), the Disaster Risk Reduction and Management (DRRM) and Gender and Development (GAD) in the fisheries sector, the three island barangays of Mercedes are good pilot sites for various interventions. The mangrove reforestation is a key to food security and climate change adaptation and mitigation that can help address soil erosion and protect settlements and other natural threats and hazards.
The initial 15-hectare women-managed mangrove area can provide several important functions. It can protect coastlines and coastal communities from waves, tidal currents and typhoons. It can also provide nursery and habitat to fry stages of varied fish species, as well as many different species of shell fish. The management of this mangrove area can ensure continuous gleaning activities of women, which serves as additional food source for the household. A plan to establish aquasilviculture projects are deemed feasible for the area.
|An IIMC Women Committee member plants mangrove propagules in Apuao Island, Mercedes, Camarines Norte. This pioneering Gender and Development journey in fisheries in this 15-hectare mangrove area will be managed by the women.|
Atty. Asis G. Perez, the newly installed BFAR Director envisions on increasing fish production with emphasis on developing new approaches on fisheries industry at the community levels – integrating the necessary pre-requisites on food safety and quality from farm to table while institutionalizing resource sustainability and conservation.
Dir. Perez added that planting a target of 100 million mangrove trees by 2016 and promoting mangrove-friendly aquaculture system or aquasilviculture to marginal fisherfolk communities shall increase production, generate jobs and increase incomes while at the same time nurse back to health the degraded coastal waters.
BFAR Bicol Director Dennis del Socorro said he is fully supportive to the National Director’s new thrusts and guide posts and will also intensify resource conservation measures in the region. Thru his leadership, the BFAR Bicol shall continue to establish fisheries projects that will provide livelihood especially to the marginalized fisherfolk. Del Socorro added that the bureau shall continue to educate the fisherfolk to raise fish, seaweeds and other aquatic animals thru mariculture and inland aquaculture projects which shall provide the needed recovery of the coastal and inland resources from overfishing and exploitation. Moreover, thru the Provincial Fisheries Offices in partnership with fisherfolk organizations, the six provinces of Bicol will be planting an initial 50,000 mangrove propagules each with a target of 300,000 mangroves to be planted in a total area of 90 hectares.
For Nature and People’s Sake. Residents and BFAR employees joined the planting of 50,000 pcs. mangrove propagules in Apuao Island, Mercedes, Camarines Norte under the scorching heat of the sun.