DAGUPAN CITY – In a bid to increase the income of small fisher folks here, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) – Region 1 and the local government of Dagupan installed at least six fish aggregating devices called payaos in the Lingayen Gulf, particularly along the area of Barangay Pugaro on July 12.


Being a livelihood assistance to the small fisher folks, residents of   Barangay Pugaro, – in the spirit of “bayanihan” – helped staff of the City Agriculture Office and BFAR in installing the payaos in four strategic areas in the gulf.


“This is another significant day for our fisher folks in the city as this will help them save more time in looking for  fish to catch  without going far into the middle of the sea thus spending  more money  for their gasoline”, ” said City Agriculture Officer Emma J. Molina.


The payaos were submerged in about six to seven feet deep and each is about three to four kilometers away from the shoreline of Pugaro.


“We choose Pugaro because this area will soon be a tourist spot and we would like to show to the people that we are serious in protecting our sea especially against dynamite fishing. Furthermore, we are assured that our fisher folks here will keep the payaos safe from getting lost in the sea,” said Molina noting that the first payao installed was lost in the sea and was never recovered.


Pugaro, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is the breeding place of some high-value fish like lapu-lapu and talakitok.


It is expected that the payao, which will serve as an artificial home for the fish and made of coconut leaves and ropes, will soon be the breeding area of fish after about two to three weeks.


Two more of the payaos were also placed about eight to 10 kilometers away from the shoreline.


With the payaos in place, it is expected that the fisher folks in the area need not hunt fish along San Fabian and Lingayen area or hunt further into the middle of the sea anymore.


Pugaro’s Punong Barangay Nestor Victorio disclosed that about 70 to 80 percent of Pugaro resident depend on the bounties of the sea for livelihood, saying “that is why we are thankful to the city government for all the assistance being shared to our fisher folks here,” he said.


Through the initiative of Mayor Belen T. Fernandez, the small fisher folks in the barangay have been provided with “kalokor” which up to this date has been a big help to them.


“We have around 50 members here and most of them are happy and satisfied with the income that they are generating from the “kalokor”,” added Victorio.


At present, the fishermen are earning at least 10-20 thousand pesos from their catch using the “kalokor”. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/July 12, 2017)