Fisherfolk in Maconacon town gets 62-footer fiberglass fishing boat

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan (PIA) — The fisherfolk association in the coastal municipality of Maconacon in Isabela province received a 62-foot fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) tuna handline fishing boat as part of the livelihood assistance grant from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The fishing vessel costs over P6.4 million and is equipped with full machinery and accessories envisioned to provide the recognized fisherfolk beneficiaries, the Maconacon Fisherfolk Federation, with advanced and suitable fishing equipment.

BFAR Regional Director Angel Encarnacion said that the bureau’s first-of-its-kind project in Isabela Province will overlay the means for the improvement of the socio-economic well-being of small-scale fishermen, whose capacity and competence in applying fishing technologies are inadequate.

With a 1000-liter fuel storage capacity, the fishing vessel can sail at a speed of 10–11 knots per nautical mile per hour, or an equivalent of about 20 kilometers per hour.

The 62-foot fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) tuna handline fishing boat. (Photo courtesy of BFAR-2)

It will be manned by four crew members: 1 boat captain, 1 engine mechanic, and 2 boat crews.

Maconacon Municipal Mayor Rolly M. Quebral said that the acquisition of the fishing boat has come to reality with the help of BFAR and the office of Representative Antonio “Tonypet” T. Albano.

“This project signifies a tremendous step forward for our fishermen, who have long toiled on the seas to provide for their families and communities. With this new vessel, we aim to empower our fishermen to enhance their livelihoods and ensure the sustainable development of our local fishing industry,” the mayor said.

“Ang fishing boat na ito ay hindi lamang isang simpleng sasakyan pandagat; ito ay simbolo ng pag-asa at pag-unlad. Ito ay magiging kasangkapan upang mas mapalakas pa natin ang sektor ng pangisdaan,” Quebral added.

Said floating asset is in line with the government’s effort to equip and modernize fisherfolk with upgraded and appropriate fishing vessels. The provision of 62-footer FRP handline fishing boats is aimed at capacitating small-scale fisherfolk at the municipal fishing waters towards an improved fish catch, as well as enabling them to significantly contribute to the production of tuna and small pelagic fishes to enhance fish supply and food security nationwide.

Once operational, the fishing vessel will enable municipal fishermen to explore the vast marine resources of the province, including the Philippine Rise. The project, under the Bureau’s Captivating Municipal Fisherfolk program, is promoted to improve cooperation, collaboration, and strengthened partnerships among sectors to support small fisherfolk federations and associations and help coastal communities grow and prosper.

“Ngayon ay magmamarka ang isang maituturing na tagumpay sa sektor ng pangisdaan ng Pilipinas, lalo na sa pagpapahusay sa pangisdaang municipal. Ang pamamahagi natin ngayon ng proyektong ito ay isang konkretong hakbang tungo sa direksyong ito. Sa tulong ng local na pamahalaan ng Divilacan at Maconacon, tutugunan natin ang pangangailangan sa mas malaki at makabagong bangkang-pangisda na may kakayahang palawigin ang produksyon ng isda sa pamamagitan ng sustenableng pamamaraan at maiangat ang antas ng pamumuhay ng mga mangingisda,” Encarnacion added.

Fishermen from the coastal municipalities of Maconacon and Divilican also receive their fuel subsidy discount cards from BFAR. (Photo courtesy of BFAR-2)

To ensure project sustainability and higher income, the bureau’s technical experts conducted training like boat captain and engine mechanic, capacity training on sustainable fishery management, and onboard proper fish handling and reduction of post-harvest losses for the fisherfolk beneficiaries months before the said activity.

Aside from the launching ceremony, the bureau also distributed fuel subsidy discount cards to 34 fishermen in the nearby coastal municipality of Divilacan. (MDCT/PIA Cagayan)

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