Davao Oriental holds aquaculture summit

Davao Oriental holds aquaculture summit

DAVAO CITY – In partnership with the Mindanao Development Authority (MinDA), the Davao Oriental provincial government held its first-ever Fisheries and Aquaculture Summit in Mati City on Friday.

The province, whose peninsular landmass boasts of a 589-kilometer coastline, is eyeing to be a fisheries powerhouse over the next five years, MinDA said in a statement Saturday.

Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said Gov. Nelson Dayanghirang took the first step in reaching the goal after he met with the fisherfolk and officials from areas outside of the province, such as Bislig City in Surigao del Sur, during the summit.

Piñol said representatives from different government agencies, the academe, the military, Coast Guard, the Philippine National Police (PNP), and the private sector also attended the summit.

Davao Oriental has been identified by MinDA as a key player in the Mindanao Fisheries and Aquaculture Development Program (MINFAD), which aims to double Mindanao’s Fisheries and Aquaculture production from the current 2.1-million metric tons annual output.

“The MINFAD aims to upgrade the production and post-harvest facilities of at least 22 rich fishing grounds of Mindanao, including the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu, and Tawitawi,” he added.

The 22 fish centers will be inter-connected by a digital platform to be initially managed by MinDA, which would determine the volume of catch daily and the species of fish landed. Through a digital platform, each fish center will be virtually connected to the market.

MINFAD is one of the key programs endorsed by MinDA for inclusion in the Mindanao Rise Program which is funded with a PHP2.1-billion grant by the European Union (EU).

“For Davao Oriental, the participants yesterday submitted the need for Bangus and Vannamei hatcheries and the establishment of post-harvest facilities in the main fishing port of Mati,” the MinDA chief added.

The post-harvest facilities, which will be funded through the EU grant, will include ice-making and blast-freezing equipment, cold storage, fish drying, and processing facilities.

Piñol said Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat and San Isidro Mayor Justina Uy, who also attended the summit, have expressed support to the direction set by the provincial government.

“Following yesterday’s summit, the MinDA planning staff will return to the province and start the social preparation, including the organization and training of fisherfolk associations in preparation for the implementation of the recommendations by the stakeholders,” Piñol said. (PNA)

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