PRDP empowers sea patrols in Prieto Diaz coastal waters
PRIETO DIAZ, SORSOGON – “Conserve and sustainably use the oceans, seas and marine resources.” This is one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to transform our world. According to the United Nations Development Program (UNDP), the SDGs are universal call to acton to end poverty, protect the planet, and ensure all people enjoy peace and prosperity.
With the Philippine Rural Development Project (PRDP), Carayat Seaweed Farmers’ Association Chairperson Candelaria Esplana is now ready to take the challenge and contribute in achieving this goal.
Esplana is an active member of the Bantay Dagat or Sea Patrol, a community-based volunteer organization under the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), that collaborates with local and national government units to protect municipal waters against illegal fishing up to 15 kilometers from shore.
When the PRDP delivered motorized fiberglass boat, Esplana had triple reasons for rejoicing. First, because the association may now use it for project monitoring and hauling of harvested seaweeds; secondly, for additional income generation from fishing during off season; and thirdly, as a patrol boat to curb illegal fishing in their coastal waters.
“Yung mga nag-iillegal [fishing] nagpapahirap sa mga fisherfolk kasi sa halip na dumami yung mga isda, binobomba at nilalason nila ng cyanide, paunti nang paunti yung mga isda dahil sa ginagawa nila (Fisherfolk suffer from illegal fishers; fish species continue to dwindle because of them),” she said.
Esplana also shared that transient illegal fishers oftentimes cut the ropes in their seaweed farm using three-ply fishnet. According to her, they do this to catch fish that thrive under the seaweeds.
“Nagpapasalamat talaga kami sa PRDP na nabigyan kami ng bangka. Magagamit namin ito hindi lamang sa pag-momonitor ng aming taniman ng seaweeds. Pwede din namin ito magamit sa pag-iikot sa mga gumagawa ng masama sa karagatan ng Prieto Diaz (We thank PRDP for giving is boat. We can use this not only in monitoring our seaweed farm but also in protecting the coastal waters of Prieto Diaz against illegal fishers),” she added. ### (Annielyn L. Baleza, DA-RAFIS V)