BFAR readies mitigating measures for El Niño
The Department of Agriculture’s (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has alerted the public of the potential challenges posed by El Niño in the fisheries sector this year.
As the fisheries sector braces for possible impacts of El Niño mostly in fisheries production and livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk and stakeholders, the government, through the DA-BFAR, commits to minimizing the effects through continuous awareness and information campaign, monitoring and issuance of red tide bulletins and provision of alternative livelihood and technical services to affected stakeholders.
“We are intent on countering even more serious problems by encouraging fish farmers and other fisheries stakeholders to employ El Niño mitigating measures, especially in aquaculture,” BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona said.
One of these mitigating measures for El Niño is the observance of Good Aquaculture Practices (GAqP) such as following recommended stocking rate and feeding in fish farms to lower the risk of fish kill.
BFAR would reinforce dike peripheral for increased water holding.
DA-BFAR also released a list of government interventions, which can be availed of by affected fish farmers and fisherfolk.
These are the provision of livelihood assistance to fisherfolk communities; input assistance like seaweed seedlings, tilapia fingerlings, oyster rafts; fish Health Laboratory Services (water quality analysis, fish disease diagnosis/treatment and, technical assistance); development of climate-resilient tilapia farming; mainstreaming intensive tilapia fingerling production; and bangus fry/fingerling sufficiency projects (satellite hatcheries, repairs of Technology Outreach Stations and legislated hatcheries).
Right now, DA-BFAR is closely monitoring aquaculture areas and coastal communities in Western-sea board areas, which are particularly prone to the effects of El Niño. The agency, however, maintains that impacts to aquaculture vary per species and farming systems.