Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
27 June 2014
DA-BFAR Sharpens Info Campaign on Knifefish Infestation
The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) has launched a website which is aimed at providing the public with must know and accessible information on invasive fish species including knifefish.
In a ceremony held at the BFAR’s National Inland Fisheries Technology Center (NIFTC) in Tanay, Rizal on Friday June 27, the agency’s information technology arm demonstrated before key government officials, fisherfolk and students how the website works, what features it has and what kind of information can be taken from the online resource.
The website launching was held alongside with awarding of winners of the NIFTC’s Knifefish comics-making competition among high school students.
BFAR national director Atty. Asis G. Perez said that the creation of the website and other information dissemination strategy is one of the latest efforts of the BFAR to intensify the campaign against knifefish and other invasive fishes which threaten the population of native species particularly in freshwater body of water.
“Public information campaign is an important component for the successful containment of knifefish infestation, particularly in Laguna de Bay,” Perez said.
“The website is highly interactive which provides a venue for the public to share their insights and suggestions, making them more involved in the effort to stop the voracious knifefish from preying on native species,” he explained.
The infestation of knifefish in Laguna de Bay was reported in May 2012. During the same year, a fisheries survey which covered 2,519 fisherfolk along coastal municipalities of Laguna de Bay showed that knifefish comprised 40.35% of the catch of the eight major fishing gears used in fishing operations in the lake.
In response to the problem, seven government agencies including the BFAR, DENR-LLDA, DOST-PCAARD, DSWD, DTI, DILG and TESDA forged together with stakeholders to contain further infestation of the said invasive species.
Director Perez said that the effort of the agencies that comprised the Technical Working Group to address the knifefish infestation is apparently paying off.
“We are pleased to announce that in the stock assessment survey conducted by the BFAR and LLDA, the volume of knifefish in the catch composition has been reduced significantly from 40.35% in 2012 to 15.60% this year,” he said.
Inspite of the positive development however, the BFAR and its partner agencies must continue to intensify the measures against knifefish infestation due to the threat it poses not only to the native fish population but more importantly to the livelihood of the fisherfolk, Director Perez added.
Republic of the Philippines
Department of Agriculture
BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES
Information and Public Relations Group
Telefax: (02) 454-5863
Mobile Number/s: 0917-8914233