UBAY, Bohol—While legislators are busily tackling ways to bring down the price of fish in Bohol, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) kept to their mandate to help in keeping fish price manageable and inaugurated Bohol’s 11th fish hub, January 9 in Ubay town.
The fish hub is a facility where fishermen can land their daily catch to be assured of a market, or at least refrigerate them so it does not go to waste and can be sold the following day.
BFAR call these facilities Community Fish Landing Center (CFLC), and placed in them post-harvest facilities as well as spaces for trade, administration and at least a decent space for meetings and training.
Earlier, fishermen have admitted that bringing their catch to the mainland is risky as there might not be a market for their fish and without refrigeration at home, their catch might stale and go to waste.
On this, the BFAR intends to respond to that issue while noting that fisher-folk, including the entire fish trade value chain are registered and organized.
The CFLC acts as their common venue to train, to organize and plan as well as to mend their nets, sell their catch and store them in shared facilities to maximize on the harvest, BFAR Regional Director Dr. Allan L. Poquita said.
The Ubay CFLC is the 11th of the 14 multi-million facilities which Bohol got from the national government since 2016 to 2017.
Ubay CFLC has stainless steel stalls, and freezers so fish can be stored when it is not sold right away.
The new CFLC comes in its iconic shades of blue, two storey structure with provisions for an administration room, male and female restrooms, stock rooms, display and open spaces while the roof deck is a massive oven railed space for whatever the fishermen and their organizations deem it useful.
Funded by the national government through the National Anti-Poverty Commission, BFAR, National Fisheries Development Corporation and the local government unit of Ubay, the convergence of funds made the project a P2.8 million facility model of partnership, explained director Poquita.
Ubay Mayor Constantino Reyes, who used to have a fishing fleet before he ventured into politics, recalled that Ubay used to be among the town markets with the most bountiful fish.
It was also the time when the fisheries were not regulated and there was illegal fishing.
But himself convinced that regulated fishing as well as sustainable fisheries is the right way, he has spearheaded his town’s campaign into convincing blast fishers to go sustainable fishing.
With Ubay sitting in the midst of a biodiversity hotspot in the Danajon Double Barrier Reef, its sprinkle of islands, islets and shoals breed good fish which are tempting fishermen to go blast fishing.
To make sure destructive blast fishing ins stopped, the mayor organized confessed illegal fishers and gave them starter livelihood projects.
The town is also setting up two floating detachments to be manned by a composite team of wardens, police and the army as well as BFAR to keep guard of the town’s island fishers and poachers.
Now that BFAR has put up and nears its 14th CFLC, people are hoping that other sectors also look at how they can contribute to solve the mysterious pricing system when the amount fishermen get when they sell is too measly and decent enough.
With sustainable fisheries now convincing people that smart way is the better way, people each day ask the dreaded question: Will these facilities really affect and bring down the price of fish? (PIA)