The Laguna Lake Development Authority assures the public that there will be no scarcity of fish supply despite implemented regulation on fish pens and fish cages.
“Ang nilabas na board resolution ay hindi zero fishpen policy, hindi zero fish cage policy. Ngayon po ay meron lamang tayong moratorium sa loob ng isang taon (The released board resolution is not zero fish pen policy, not zero fish cage policy. We now only have a one-year moratorium),” said LLDA GM Jaime Medina.
The Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) sees no shortage of fish supply in Metro Manila markets and nearby areas because aquaculture in Laguna Lake will not be totally dismantled.
General Manager Jaime Medina said, experts are now studying the real capacity of the lake in order to identify the areas that are feasible for structure like fish pens and fish cages.
The lake has a total area of 90,000 hectares with a designated carrying capacity at 10% of its surface area, based on Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code.
“Yung 10% po na sinasabi sa batas, yung ho ay walang scientific na basehan para sa Laguna de Bay. Kaya ang amin pong sinasabi, … magkakaroon ng panibagong determinasyon ano talaga ang kayang i-sustain, anu talaga ang sukat na kinakailangan para maging sustainable ang aquaculture sa Laguna de Bay (The 10% stated in the law has no scientific basis on Laguna de Bay. What we are trying to say…there will be a new way of determining the actual size required to have a sustainable aquaculture in Laguna de Bay),“ Medina added.
The LLDA is giving the fish pen operators until March 31 to voluntarily dismantle their structures.
Starting April, LLDA will demolish fish pens operating without permits and violating the current rules. Exempted from the demolition are structures with an area of 1-hectare and below.
The agency is currently verifying legitimate beneficiaries from among the list of 22,000 fishermen operating at the lake as they will be given priority after the moratorium is lifted in December.
“Kung maliliit na mangingisda na ang priority kailangang siguraduhin na ngayon na sila ay mas sapat na kaalaman. Sila ay may mayroong marketing strategy, at the same time ang pinakaimportante sila ay may pondo, puhunan para doon sa gagawin nilang hanap-buhay. Kaya pati yan sa ngayon palang ay hinahanda na ng LLDA (If the small fishermen will now be the priority, it should be ensured that they have enough know-how, marketing strategy and and most importantly, funds for their planned livelihood. Even these are being prepared by LLDA),” said Medina.
LLDA is poised to lose around P50-M due to the moratorium and cost of demolition. But for them, what is more important is the rehabilitation of the lake which will eventually benefit not only the small fishermen but the community surrounding the area. — Rey Pelayo | UNTV News & Rescue
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