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Fishermen worried over destruction of mangrove area in Orion

Written by
  • Perla E.
  • 7 years ago

ORION, Bataan Fishermen have expressed worry over the alleged destruction of full-grown mangroves, seedlings and other projects in a foreshore area adjacent to the planned dockyard in this town.

Renel Capacite, chair of the municipal fisheries and aquatic resources management council (MFARMC), said about 3,000 fishermen in 11 coastal villages in Orion are to be affected by the damaged mangrove area. “Hindi kami tutol sa dockyard pero dapat protektahan ang mangrove area at huwag sirain upang magamit ng susunod na henerasyon,” the fisherman-leader said.

Capacite said mangroves are the breeding ground of fish, crabs and other marine products. “Kapag nawala ang bakawan, mawawalan ng kabuhayan ang maliliit na mangingisda lalo na,” he said.

He estimated that more than one hectare of the four-hectare mangrove area has already been backfilled with soil. “Natabunan na aqua-silvi project namin, full-grown mangroves na halos century-old na, mga seedlngs at potted propagules na pinagkukunan ng kabuhayan ng maraming mangingisda,” Capacite said.

Capacite said six species of mangroves can be found only in the area and other provinces buy from them the potted propagules.

Orion Mayor Antonio Raymundo said that the dockyard has a titled property of five hectares in the area. He said that he is not against the project, much more against the entry of investments in his town. “I welcome investors but I am concerned of the environment that should not be harmed,” the mayor said.

Raymundo said that he was after the four-hectare foreshore area adjacent to the five-hectare titled property of the dockyard. “Natambakan na ang 1.2 hectares ng four-hectare public land,” he said. The mayor claimed that more than 3,000 full-grown mangroves and others have been destroyed that he placed its monetary value at more than P300 million.

Alfredo Hernandez, fishery extension worker, said that per their assessment, damaged were more than 3,000 full-grown mangroves and more than 16,000 mangrove saplings. Also destroyed were six units from the eight units of the aqua-silvi project of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources managed by the MFARMC since 2010, the fishery worker said, adding that the damaged units were worth P360,000.

The aqua-silvi project involves the raising of crabs in fishing nets in the mangrove area. Hernandez said that also affected by the backfilling are 10,000 potted mangrove seedlings where fishermen derive income from its sales. The municipality spent P5 per seedling that the fishermen sold for P10, he said.

He said that mangroves aside from being hatching habitat for fishes, shells and crabs serve as barrier to strong waves.

A signboard at the fenced dockyard showed that backfilling has an approved Environment Compliance Certificate from the Environment Management Bureau of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.

Carlos Leoveras, a fisherman from Santa Elena and one of the workers in the planned dockyard, said the project has no big bad effect on fishermen. “May nag-iinvest para umasenso ang bayan, dapat okehan na,” he said.

“Ang natabunan lamang naman karamihan sasa na ginagawang pawid, palatpat, mayapi at kaunting bakawan. Marami namang makikinabang sa trabaho,” Leoveras said.

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