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In Zambo Norte, BFAR constructs a multi-species marine hatchery.

In order to solve the province’s fingerling supply issue, the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is constructing a PHP24 million multi-species marine hatchery in Zamboanga del Norte.

Isidro Velayo Jr., regional director for BFAR-9, announced on Thursday that work on the hatchery in Jose Dalman town’s Barangay Tabon had begun this week.

Velayo said that Republic Act No. 10859, An Act Establishing a Multi-Species Marine Hatchery in the Municipality of Jose Dalman, Province of Zamboanga Del Norte, and Appropriating Funds Therefor, made it possible to build the multi-species marine hatchery.

Rosendo Labadlabad, presently the mayor of Sindangan, was the second district representative of Zamboanga del Norte when R.A. 10859 was passed in February 2016.

Velayo said that the project’s delay was caused by Jose Dalman’s municipal government’s inability to swiftly acquire the necessary land.

He said that the project’s implementation was delayed as a result of the feasibility study and thorough engineering design being completed after R.A. 10859 was approved.

The legislation had previously been adopted, but the supporting papers were not yet complete. The pandemic caused it to be further delayed, he claimed.

In order to address Zamboanga del Norte’s issue with the supply of fingerlings that they import from Indonesia, he claimed that the project—the first legally sanctioned hatchery in the Zamboanga Peninsula—is dedicated to milkfish, pompano, and mangrove crab.

The effort, according to Velayo, who is also BFAR’s assistant director for research and international relations, “would in some way improve the fry demand of bangus not just in Zamboanga, but in the entire country.”

He claimed that the hatchery would produce 1.5 million mangrove crabs, 25.9 million bangus larvae, 10 million bangus fry, 2 million pompano larvae, and 2.7 million pompano fry within a year.

For two to three years, BFAR will administer and run the hatchery before handing it up to Jose Dalman’s municipal administration.

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