No. of :

No. of Shares:

Currently viewed by: Marcus Rosit

Mati fishers get new vessels from BFAR

At 2 o’clock in the morning, with the skies clear and the  waters placid, Gerry Carlos told his fellow fishermen, “Larga na ta.”

Every day, when the weather and sea are favorable, Gerry and his fellow fishermen head out to Mati Bay to earn their daily keep.

“Karong bulana sa December ug January, naa ra na sa panaw ang mga bariles (These months of December and January, the yellowfin fish will be swimming near the shore),” Carlos said in a phone interview.Sailing by just 20 nautical miles from their dock, they anchored their 23-footer boat in an area where they frequently spot and catch yellowfin fish.

In other months, Gerry emphasized, the “bariles” will be found in the “payaw” or within at least 4,500 nautical miles from their dock.

Daily, their team can catch two to eight “bariles,” depending on the season, weighing an average of  50 kilos per fish.

Without proper preservation facilities, Gerry stressed in remorse that they can only sell their catch at a very low price of P180 per kilo instead of the standard P300 per kilo.

“Usahay sir, katolan pa jud sila sa among nakuha (Sometimes, sir, our catch makes them itch),” he said, considering the lack of proper ice box will dry out and lose its freshness during their journey back to the port.

Leading a team of 57 fishermen, Gerry, the president of Don Enrique Lopez Small

The Don Enrique Lopez Small Fisherfolk Association (DELSFA) of Mati City received a commercial fishing vessel, and small boats from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. (Photo: City of Mati LGU)

Fisherfolk Association (DELSFA), talked to Mati City mayor Michelle Rabat about their problems. He said that the local chief executive committed to tapping the national government to address their concerns.

Blessings from BFAR and City Government of Mati

On January 17, blessings arrived for DELFSA as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) donated to them P8 million worth of fishing vessels and gear.

The donation included a P6.7 million commercial fishing vessel commonly known as “lantangan” and seven small boats, or “pakura.”

Mati City Mayor Michelle Rabat and personnel from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources presented the Certificate to the Don Enrique Lopez Small Fisherfolk Association (DELSFA). (Photo: City of Mati LGU)

The turn-over ceremony was held at the City of Mati Fish Port Complex.

During the ceremony, Rabat said that the vessels were gifts from the government.

“Di na kinahanglan bayaran kundi inyoha na para makatabang pud kami sa inyong panginabuhi (You need not to pay for these; instead, these are already yours so that we can help you support your livelihood as well),” she said.

Rabat added that the only way they can give back to the government is for them to take care of the fishing vessels.

When they thought that those were just all that they would be getting, more blessings were pouring on the fishermen that day as the local chief executive also turned over additional fishing gears from the city government.

Photo: City of Mati LGU

Hopes for a prosperous catch

With the donations from BFAR and City Government of Mati, Gerry and the officers and members of DELSFA hope to gain more catch than their previous produce.

Aside from bigger production, Gerry also expects that the new vessel will be their mother boat to carry ice boxes to preserve the quality of the fish.

Previously, each member earned an average of around P20,000 monthly. Although he cannot categorically say how much they will earn with the new vessel, he hopes, however, to maybe double their earnings.

“Dako kog pasalamat sa government nga among association ang nahatagan; dugang na jud og panginabuhian para sa among panginahanglan sa among mga estudyante ug pagkaon (I am very thankful to the government for giving this to our association; this will augment our livelihood to address the needs of our students and also our food),” he said. (PIA Davao Oriental/MLU/Photos from City of Mati LGU)

About the Author

Michael Uy

Regional Editor / Writer

Region 11

Feedback / Comment

Get in touch