Funded by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), a 62-footer fiberglass fishing vessel worth 5.25 M arrived on the shore of Mabini, Davao de Oro. This was inagurated on Sept.9, 2020 by no less than the Agriculture Secretary William Dar himself.

The FBCA Davao Pacific Bluefin fishing vessel is equipped with a fish hold hatch and chiller supported with four units “Pakura”, which will serve as catcher boats, and this aims to make the fisherfolk of Davao Region self-sufficient. Surrounded by vast fishing grounds namely the Davao Gulf, Pujada and Malal ag Bays, and the insular waters going to Saranggani Bay, Davao region is a source of various fisheries and aquatic species. As such, the fishing vessel is expected to enable the local fishers to explore fishing grounds beyond the 15-kilometer boundary.

According to Dar, compared to the 32-footer boats previously developed by BFAR, which limits the area of coverage to 5-8 kilometers only, the bigger vessels can cover a wider area of municipal waters. “This particular model can also withstand rough seas, and may be used as Patrol Boats under the Bantay Dagat initiative,” the Secretary added.

The agri chief stressed that fishers must be the first protector of the seas. “Protect the seas and protect each other,” he said. In his message, Dar underscored the importance of clustering in the fishery subsector. “Clustering and consolidating is not only for crops and livestock. It is also important for the fisherfolk to come together and perform collective actions,” Dar explained.

The Secretary also urged the stakeholders of the subsector to adapt the Big Brother, Small Brother concept for equitable development. “Hindi lamang malalaking negosyo ang yayaman, kundi maging mga maralitang mangingisda din,” Dar said.