Alfonso Castañeda, a small upland town in Nueva Vizcaya, may have limited aquatic resources, but it certainly has big plans for the development of its fisheries sector.

By Max Prudencio, BFAR RO2

Recently, the fisheries bureau in Region 02 awarded 10 units of non-motorized bancas and 10 sets of gill nets (at 200 meters per set) to fisherfolk operating within the town’s Canili Lake. The lake, tucked in Barangay Galintuja, partly supplies water to the Pantabangan Dam in Nueva Ecija.

This scenic body of water is now the center of interest for fisheries development.

In addition to the fishing boats and gear, the BFAR RO2 also awarded 8 units of fish cages, including stocks, to the 35-member Galintuja Fisherfolk Association. The local government unit (LGU) will provide funds for the feed inputs. Provincial Fisheries Action Officer for Nueva Vizcaya Dominador Abalos revealed that the LGU plans to implement a roll-over scheme so that all interested groups can have the chance to operate the

Awarding of fishing boats to Alfonso Castañeda locals led by BFAR RO2
ARD Dr. Milagros Morales.

“The LGU personnel are set to visit the Aquapark in Magat Dam in Ramon, Isabela to observe the best practices for fish cage operation and replicate this with the cage units established in Canili Lake,” Abalos said.

He added that the LGU is also requesting that they be trained on fish processing to enable them to utilize, and add value to, the fishery resources abundant in the lake such as freshwater shrimp and clams. The town’s fishery technician is also set to undergo training on Inland Fishery Resource Management to enable the town to assimilate all possible interventions and strike a balance between resource use and conservation.

“Mayor Annie Bawayan plans to develop the lake as an ecotourism site,” Abalos revealed.

BFAR RO2 Director Dr. Jovita Ayson said that the bureau is open to rendering technical assistance to the town regarding the development of their fisheries sector. “We certainly appreciate the move of Alfonso Castañeda. Though comparatively small, it certainly has focus on the development of the fisheries sector and the welfare of its fisherfolk,” Ayson said.

This appeared in Agriculture Monthly’s July 2014 issue.