|Tilapia net cages ... A common sight in Isabela province’s freshwater ponds. They could be replicated in Mambulao and Larap’s coastal waters as livelihood project for marginal fishermen. – MWBuzzpic by ALFREDO P HERNANDEZ|
This is one of the income-generation schemes that the JPNHS Alumni Association would launch once the needed funds are obtained.
The project is among the short-term livelihood schemes being lined up by the association. The other one is the piglet dispersal program for poor families in Larap and Mambulao.
Both are waiting for funding, Sam Tatom, of Batch 66 and secretary of the LaPIMa, said in his email to batch members recently.
According to Sam Tatom, LaPIMa secretary, the initial cost per fish-net cage is Php200,000 a year.
It will be initially operated by the association and later turned over to a multi-purpose cooperative which will be created.
The increasing demand for fish-protein from the municipality has prompted LaPIMa to promote tilapia-cage project in Larap and Mambulao.
“There’s big market … we can bring the catch to Mambulao where fish is a daily staple and therefore there’s a demand,” according to some fish folks in the area, whose comments were also posted on Facebook account of “Taga-Larap Ako”, the chat room for Larap people who are either at home, overseas or elsewhere in the country.
Usually, a fish-cage would involve a 15 x 15 x 3 meter net that would be secured by four sturdy posts while it is submerged in the water.
Feeding, usually using commercially-available feeds, is done twice a day.
Raising fast-growing varieties of tilapia, a harvest is expected in four months at an average weight of 300gms to 400gms.
The technology has been available since the early 80s but is only being used along Philippine coastlines where the water is calm.
The technology is yet to be tried in both Larap and Mambulao, thus requiring a fish-cage tilapia expert from the Bureau of Fisheries and Acquatic resources (BFAR) who would explain and supervise how the scheme is carried out.
The Mambulao Bay, according to residents, has calm water and therefore, will not be destructive to fish-cages, such as the one being mulled for the two areas.
-By AP Hernandez