An organized fisherfolk cooperative in the Ilocos Region has received the newly-built 21- meter steel-hulled ringnet fishing boats under the Department of Agriculture–Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources’ (DA-BFAR) Capacitating Municipal Fisherfolk Program during a turnover ceremony at the Josefa Slipways Compound in Sual, Pangasinan on Thursday, December 15.

Primarily aimed at providing bigger and upgraded fishing boats, the program is one of the Bureau’s interventions to improve the livelihood and efficiency of small-scale fishers, contribute to the attainment of sufficient fish supply and ensure sustainable management of the country’s fishery and aquatic resources.

“Sa tulong ng makabagong makinarya at kagamitan sa ilalim ng proyektong Capacitating Municipal Fisherfolk, inaasahan nating dadami ang huli ng ating mga mangingisda at tataas ang produksyon ng isda sa ating municipal waters. These initiatives are geared towards attaining food security in the country, and raising the socio-economic status of our municipal fisherfolk,” DA-BFAR Officer-in-Charge Atty. Demosthenes R. Escoto said in the ceremonial turnover.
The turnover was formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) between the DA-BFAR and Damortis Fisherfolks Fishermen Cooperative, an organized fisherfolk cooperative whose members are registered under the Fisherfolk Registration System (FishR). Under the MOA, the organized fisherfolk cooperative will be given full responsibility to operate and manage the fishing vessel equipped with purse seine fishing gear, hauling machinery and onboard marine safety, communication, and navigational aids.

The four newly-built steel-hulled ringnet fishing boats are set to sail in the fishing grounds of the West Philippine Sea; Pacific Seaboard; and fishing areas of Zamboanga and Basilan, Sulu, and Tawi-Tawi (BaSulTa). Meanwhile, besides Damortis Fisherfolks Fishermen Cooperative, the Poblacion Fisherfolks Association, Northern Samar Pacific Towns Fishermen’s Cooperative, and Kilusang Pagbabago (KP) Siari Chapter Association and Tigbao Seaweed Farmers Association will also receive ringnet fishing boats from the DA-BFAR.
Along with the four ringnet fishing boats are 27 units of 62-footer handline fishing boats and six units of 62-footer bagnet fishing boats funded by the program for the benefit of qualified fisherfolk associations or cooperatives in selected areas with abundant pelagic fisheries resources which significantly produce tuna and tuna-like species and other large pelagics, as well as small pelagics.