By: Bennie A. Recebido
SORSOGON CITY, May 1 (PIA) – One hundred (100) hectares of tidal mudflat was awarded by the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) here to the Seaweed Grower and Aquaculture Association of Sorsogon, Inc. (SEAGRASS) in Brgy. Gimaloto, Sorsogon City.
The SEAGRASS, a people’s organization composed of fisher folks and farmers in Brgy Gimaloto, West District, in this city, was chosen by the CENRO in coordination with the Sorsogon City Agriculture Office as beneficiary in line with the National Greening Program being implemented by the national government.
According to SEAGRASS president Redentor Lasay, the 100 has mudflat is currently dominated by mangrove species like bakawan, pagatpat, miyapi, lapis-lapis and nipa, among others.
“As per the initial agreement, the SEAGRASS will serve as the steward of the site for mangrove development for 25 years starting upon the signing of the Memorandum of Agreement (MOA). Inclusive of the agreement is for the SEAGRASS to protect and develop, as well as, benefit from the said area, where members will be allowed to harvest pruned branches of mangroves and nipa shingles as well as aquasilvi culture yeilds, under the supervision of the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR),” Lasay explained.
CENR Officer Krisanta Marlene P. Rodriguez said that the MOA is underway and will immediately be signed upon compliance of the prescribed requirements by the concerned parties.
She also added that this week, BFAR in coordination with Community ENRO will conduct assessment and survey of the said mangrove project to determine the type of mangrove species suitable to the 50 has out of the awarded 100 has mudflat.
Propagules to be planted in the site will be bought directly from the SEAGRASS members, and the growing of mangroves will be monitored and taken good care by the members themselves for the span of six months as per the agreement.
City Agriculturist Adeline Detera said, the City Agriculture Office is set to establish a one-hectare Mangro-vetum, a mangrove propagule nursery in Barangay Gimaloto for sustainability of the mangrove project and to showcase at the same time a rare package of mangrove species both for tourism and educational enhancement.
Meanwhile, SEAGRASS is currently a beneficiary of aquasilvi culture project grant of BFAR which includes seaweed farming and green mussel (tahong) production which is soon to harvest anytime in May this year. The project amounts to P150,000.
Aside from this, BFAR has also established “hilay”, a fish breeding and shelter area which at the same serve as protection against troll and dynamite fishing and any other form of illegal fishing activities.
SEAGRASS was also granted by BFAR with 6.5 horse power motorized banca and a nipa hut for the convenience and smooth management of the members of the organization. (BARecebido, PIA Sorsogon)