04 October 2010

Subic fisher folk to launch artificial reef project

The Subic Bay Integrated Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Management Council (SB-IFARMC), an organization representing fisher folk communities in all areas surrounding Subic Bay, will launch its concrete artificial reef project on October 15.

The project was funded by an Environmental Guarantee Fund (EGF) from the Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority (SBMA), which has allotted financial assistance to fishing communities affected by development projects in the Subic Bay Freeport Zone.

SB-IFARMC chairman Laureano DS Artagame said that about 1,800 units of culvert pyramid-type concrete blocks formed into 60 modules will be installed at various sites identified by fishermen in the towns of Subic and San Antonio in Zambales, Olongapo City, and Morong town in Bataan.

The ceremonial launching program will include the blessing of the concrete artificial reef modules, presentation of the artificial reef project, distribution of livelihood funds to members of the SB-IFARMC, and discussions to raise awareness among stakeholders on the conservation, protection and management of marine resources in Subic Bay.

Those expected to attend the event include officials of the SBMA, the Department of Agriculture, and municipal fisheries councils; the governors of Bataan and Zambales, and the mayors of Subic and San Antonio towns in Zambales, Morong in Bataan, and Olongapo City.
The artificial reef project aims to revive the dwindling marine resources in local fishing grounds and boost the livelihood of the fisher folk here, Artagame said.

The project used up about P2.3 million of the P4-million financial assistance that the SBMA gave to local fishing communities.

SBMA administrator Armand Arreza said the financial assistance was sourced through the EGF that was created as a condition under the Environmental Compliance Certificates (ECCs) issued for the Subic port project and the Hanjin shipyard project. (SBMA Corporate Communications)

PHOTO: SB-IFARMC volunteers in San Antonio, Zambales fabricate concrete cylinder blocks to be used for their artificial reef project in Subic Bay.