FOR MARGINALIZED FISHERMEN
THE city council, in its special session on Dec. 28 passed an ordinance seeking to enlarge the measurement of each allowable fish cage in the city rivers to enable concessionaires from poor families to earn more.
The council passed Draft Ordinance No. 0-637, introduced by Councilor Jeslito Seen, that amended Ordinance No. 248-2015 prohibiting the construction of fish pens but on the other hand permitting the construction of fish cages, measuring five meters by five meters.
The ordinance was approved in response to petitions from coastal barangays in the city to increase the present 5 x 5 sq. meters to 7 x 10 sq. meters because the former size “is not economically viable.”
Mayor Belen T. Fernandez called the special session to act on the draft ordinance and in time for the start of the issuance by the city government of Aquatic Lease Agreement (ALA) to concessionaires starting January 3.
Those who petitioned for the amendment of the ordinance were fish farmers from Barangays Lomboy, Calmay, Carael, Salapingao, Pugaro-Suit and Lucao.
Fish cages are structures whose nets do not touch the floor of rivers unlike the nets of fish pens that extend up to the bottom of rivers thus hindering water flow.
Only marginalized fishermen, particularly 4Ps members, are allowed to apply for ALA whose fee has been lowered to P500 (from P1,000).
ALA holders are required by the City Agriculture Office to stock only fishes that do not need commercial feeds to grow, namely: malaga (siganid), grouper (lapu-lapu), sea bass, pampano and others. (Leonardo Micua)