MORONG, Bataan – In an effort to support the Agro-tourism Vision of this town, particularly in the barangays of Sabang ang Nagbalong, the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPA) fisheries division, prioritized their artificial reef projects in said barangays, not only to serve as fish habitat or fish sanctuary but also to be a good diving site for diving enthusiasts in the future.
According to Mr. Danny Abrera, chief of fisheries division, they are now in the process of deploying the pyramidal pile of cubical or cylindrical concrete modules that will form the artificial reefs on the sea beds of barangay Nagbalayong with the Nagbalayong bantay dagat group as the beneficiaries of the projects.
Abrera added that aside from the fact that the artificial reefs are deployed for fish shelters and other marine organisms, it is also a substrate in regenerating corals, good for fishing ground and a good diving site as well, like those in Palawan, as these will be home for different fish species.
Abrera also said that they have already built an artificial reef in Brgy. Sabang two years ago, and according to the BFAR representatives, fish harvest increase in the area in a sustainable way, that the harvest of “dalagang bukid” galunggong and big fishes like lapu-lapu, tanigue and others abound in the area. Abrera even added that members of the bantay dagat are vigilant in monitoring the fishermen’s tools in catching fish, that only the use of ”sapyaw” is allowed in the fishing ground.
The use of artificial reefs, the fishery division chief said, is one of the management interventions of the coastal environment, and that these should be built far from the beaches, very deep in the sea so as not to disturb the fish sanctuary, because 25% of these seascapes is used for the sanctuary area while 75% serves as the buffer area for nondestructive use.
The education of the people and the community on the impact of managing reefs should be intensified, hence BFAR as the agency that screens bantay dagat members should be very careful in approving its members and as such, changing the attitude of the people towards unsustainable environmental practice, which may take longer but will eventually be a major success in the future of integrated coastal zone management, Abrera said.