Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Regional Office No. 5
San Agustin, Pili, Camarines Sur
Telefax: (054) 361-2326
BFAR recommends strict implementation of fishery laws in Lake Buhi, presents research result to LGU
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) - Bicol has recommended the strict implementation of fishery laws to the Local Government Unit (LGU) of Buhi, Camarines Sur in order to save Lake Buhi from further degradation. This was stated in a position paper submitted to the municipal mayor and the Sangguniang Bayan on January 14, 2011, reiterating the provisions of Section 51 of the Philippine Fisheries Code, which states that only 10% of the total surface area of a lake can be utilized for aquaculture activities such as fish cage farming of tilapia.
Unregulated aquaculture activities in Lake Buhi such as illegal construction of fish cages, overstocking of fish and overfeeding produce high amounts of aquaculture wastes in the lake based on BFAR’s water quality monitoring that have probably caused the massive fish kill that started on October 29 last year.
Likewise, BFAR personnel presented to the LGU officials of Buhi the recent research result of the Stocking and Feeding Experiment by BFAR and the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research (ACIAR) with fish cage operators in Lakes Buhi and Bato from 2007 to 2009 titled, "Integrated Fisheries Resource Management of Rinconada Lakes".
Overstocking of cages is one of the key practices of the fish farmers that need to be modified. Stocking density trials were conducted on both lakes using 5, 10 and 15 tilapia fingerlings per cubic meter (m3). Stocks at 5 pcs/m3 were not given any commercial feed and relied solely on natural food in the lake while the 10 and 15 pcs/m3 had feeding. Results showed that the optimum stocking density for the two lakes is 10 pcs/m3. This is in terms of growth, survival, total yield and feed conversion ratio. Fish reared at 5 pcs/m3 grew poorly and were not harvestable within the four months culture period indicating that natural food available in the two lakes could not sustain growth even at this stocking density within the prescribed culture period.
In the feeding trials, four different feeding management schemes were employed in the two lakes with two feeding rates and two feeding schedules, namely: HD (high feeding rate, daily), HS (high feeding rate, skip), LD (low feeding rate, daily), and LS (low feeding rate, skip). In the skip feeding strategy, fish were fed only four times weekly on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays. From the results, LS is the recommended feeding strategy in terms of being the most economically viable and ecologically sound.
Packaged results of the study in print and video format were provided by BFAR to the Sangguniang Bayan for their appropriate action.
BFAR also assisted the local government in capacity building activities such as the re-organization of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC) in ten barangays and the Lakeside FARMC on January 20. The LFARMC is mandated by law to become the recommendatory-policy making body and adviser to the LGU on fishery-related matters based on Fisheries Administrative Order 196. Moreover, BFAR provided resource persons on the Training on Lake Resource Management and Fishery Law Enforcement on January 26-28.
The BFAR Provincial Fisheries Office of Camarines Sur has also provided technical assistance to LGU-Buhi in the crafting its municipal fisheries ordinance which is still pending approval.
BFAR Regional Director Dennis del Socorro said that Lake Buhi’s rehabilitation will depend on the strict and full implementation of fishery laws coupled with the full support of the people of Buhi and other stakeholders. (rcanabe)