APALIT, Pampanga — Around 300,000 tilapia fingerlings were released along the Pampanga River in Barangay Sulipan by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Luzon (BFAR-3).
According to BFAR-3 Regional Director Wilfredo Cruz, this is part of the bureau’s effort to revitalize the aquaculture industry and is in line with the celebration of Fish Conservation Week from 17-24 September.
The dispersal of the tilapia fingerlings is part of the Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) program which aims to repopulate freshwater bodies with non-invasive and indigenous fish species.
“This is to increase productivity and eventually improve the living condition of fisher folks in the province,” he said, adding that fishing is the major source of income of some 700 families in this town.
Cruz, meanwhile, asked the fisherfolk to observe safe, proper and environment-friendly fishing practices to ensure that the benefits of water resources are maximized.
“This is through the use of appropriate use of gears, non-use of harmful fishing methods and venturing into possible ways of processing fish catch,” he averred.
BASIL, a five-year project that aims to rehabilitate major inland bodies of water in the country, is a priority project of the Department of Agriculture.
It targets to disperse at least 210 million fingerlings nationwide in major lakes and river basins.
Municipal agriculturist Jessie Cabrera thanked the BFAR for continuously supporting the fishers in this town as last year, BFAR dispersed 500,000 tilapia and 100,000 carp fingerlings along the Pampanga River, which is among the major rivers in the country placed under the BASIL program.