Minor lakes and reservoirs are located in upland and landlocked areas where there is deficiency in fish supply. Sustenance fisherfolks in the area are dependent on the resource both for food and source of livelihood. These resources once restored/rehabilitated offer potential for fish production and socio-economic advancement.

The BFAR-National Inland Fisheries Technology Center implements a National Program on the Fisheries Enhancement of Inland Waters, known as “Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa” (BASIL) with proper intervention and application of the scientific approach to fish stocking utilizing the vacant niche or food-based approach, the Program aimed to maximized the production of these resources to attain the production potential for the benefit of the rural population.

The food-based approach explores the natural productivity of the lakes, rivers, dams and reservoirs. The available natural food is analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively. The production capacity is computed using initially a conversion factor of 1:4 where ¼ of the natural food biomass can be converted into fish production. The natural food present can then be matched with the species of fish to be stocked.  Production can be extrapolated to 500 kg/ha/yr.

Program Objectives:

  1. To rehabilitate/ restore the physical condition of lakes, rivers, dams and reservoir
  2. To implement resource-based fishery enhancement strategies  
  3. To repopulate the targeted management areas with indigenous fish species in support of biodiversity conservation, poverty alleviation and food sufficiency

Components of the Program:

  • Capacity Building

    Capacity Building of Stakeholders – Participants in the capacity building activities shall mainly include target fisherfolk-beneficiaries, LGUs and BFAR technical staff.  
    The scope of activities shall include:

    1. Orientation on the BASIL (Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa) Program
    2. Organization and strengthening of relevant fisherfolk organization/s
    3. Re-orientation on fishery laws related to inland waters
    4. Fisheries production monitoring and evaluation
    5. Participatory activity-planning to determine the scope of work and manpower requirements (number of man-days) for the habitat restoration/construction
  • Habitat Restoration

    This component shall be implemented through a “Cash for Work Program” involving fisherfolk beneficiaries who shall undertake the following activities:

    1. Clearing of aquatic weeds and other debris
    2. Partial excavation of the silted portion near the shoreline
    3. Removal of remnants of aquaculture/fish aggregating structures
    4. Rehabilitation of the buffer zone through strengthening of shoreline dikes/protective structures and;
    5. planting of water-resistant trees/freshwater mangrove and fruit trees

    The hiring of fisherfolk-beneficiaries shall follow the usual administrative procedures, to include the issuance of Authorization to Hire, with details on the number of man/days and scope of work.  The Cash for Work arrangement shall follow the prevailing rate in the area, but  not to exceed the rate prescribed by the Regional Wage Board.  The Regional Focal Person or his duly assigned technician will oversee the implementation of the Cash for Work Program

  • Establishment of Habitat Structure/s

    For habitat structures, the following shall be established:

    1. Brushpark or Fish Refugia for lakes and reservoir to cover an area not exceeding 1% of the water surface
    2. The Aquatic Macrophytes Bio-absorption System (AMBS) for river system

    Materials for the habitat structures shall be provided by the BFAR, while labor will be provided by the fisherfolk-beneficiaries through the Cash for Work Program arrangement, following the procedure stated under item No. 2 (Habitat Restoration) of this Guidelines.

  • Fisheries Enhancement

    Responsible stocking and stock enhancement in open waters shall be implemented based on the following:

    1. Indigenous fish species shall be preferred in the stocking of natural lakes and river system
    2. Tilapia, carps and other filter feeder fish species shall be used as stocking materials for man-made reservoirs
    3. The natural productivity and carrying capacity of the lake/s shall be determined or a stocking optimum density of 1,000 fish/ha shall be employed
    4. All communal waters stock enhancement and production shall be attributed to BASIL production
    5. The vacant niche approach, using low trophic species shall be practiced
    6. Risk assessment of trans-located species should be conducted
    7. Stocks should be quarantined before releasing in open waters
    8. Bigger-sized fingerlings (specify, based on FOO No. 71 as amended) should be used for stocking purposes
    9. No stocking of tilapia fingerlings in lakes identified as NIPAS and/or under IPRA by the DENR-PAMB unless authorized/approved by the DENR
    10. A representative from the LGU with notification and invitation to  the FARMC, NCIP, DENR and COA) shall witness the fish dispersal/enhancement
  • Broodstock Stocking of Brushparks/Fish Refugia
    1. Stocking of broodstock in Brushparks/Fish Refugia is 1-2 pcs/sq.m.
    2. Broodstock in the Brushparks/Fish Refugia will rely on the natural food present inside
    3. Fishing inside Brushparks/Fish Refugia is prohibited

    Production of fingerlings for stock enhancement will be produced by the National Centers and BFAR Regional Satellite Hatcheries;  Should the above activities be implemented through the Local Government Units, which will involve the transfer of funds, the appropriate Memoranda of Agreement/s shall be executed between the concerned LGU Executive/s and the BFAR Regional Director/s.

  • Monitoring and Evaluation
    1. The fisherfolk-beneficiaries shall maintain a record of fish production/catch and submit the same to the Regional Focal Person through the assigned Field Technicians.  The same report should be consolidated using appropriate Planning and Budgeting Forms.
    2. Restored management area/s will be turned-over to the organized fisherfolk beneficiaries with the support and assistance of the LGU/s concerned covered by a Memoranda of Agreement.
Management Areas No. of Beneficiaries No. of Management Areas No. of Fingerlings Stocked Fish Production in Metric Tons Status
Lakes, Rivers and Reservoirs 3,169 (included the Indigenous people in some upland and landlocked areas in Luzon, Visayas and Mindanao  127 Carps, Tilapia and Indigenous fishes = 76,629,872 Pieces 11,027.61 Metric Tons Enhanced Management Areas
Fisherfolk Beneficiaries (2017) = 788
Common People = 652
Indigenous people = 136
2017 = 44 2017 = 12,170,000 Pieces 2017 = 527 Metric Tons
Fisherfolk Beneficiaries (2018) = 527
Common People = 407
Indigenous people = 120
2018 = 17 2018 = 19,550,000 Pieces 2018 = 2,690 Metric Tons
Fisherfolk Beneficiaries (2019) = 1,458
Common People = 1,458
2019 = 60 2019 = 25,594,286 Pieces 2019 = 1,839.76 Metric Tons
Fisherfolk Beneficiaries (2020) = 396
Common People = 396
2020 = 60 2020 = 19,103,367 Pieces 2020 = 5,970.85 Metric Tons

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