Losses to fishery, Bfar assets in Central Visayas top P900M

·3 min read

THE fishery sector in Central Visayas and the government bureau itself overseeing the sector in the region have racked up at least P910 million in losses due to Typhoon Odette (Rai).

In a statement, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (Bfar 7) said it projected damage or loss in the region’s fishery sector to exceed P550 million.

In addition, the bureau said damage to its offices and facilities and the destruction of its service vehicles from the lashing of Odette last December 16 cost the bureau an estimated P362.2 million.

The bureau said the estimated P550,203,400 damage and loss to the fishery sector in Central Visayas was based on the estimated loss in fishery commodities (seaweeds, milkfish, tilapia, shrimp and fingerlings) at P181 million or 1.76 million metric tons; and in properties and equipment (farm implements, fish cages and pens, pond accessories, nets, lines and boats) at P369.2 million or 9,504 units.

Across the region, the bureau said, almost 9,000 fisherfolk were affected and 3,425 fishing boats were damaged or destroyed.

As for the damage to Bfar assets, the bureau said the bulk, or P189 million, of the estimated P362.2 million damage occurred in the four provincial fishery offices and the bureau's eight field facilities.

The damage also included P50 million for the office's machinery and equipment, P42 million for the regional office in Cebu City; P35 million for information technology equipment like computers and printers, P30 million for supplies, materials and furniture, and P16.2 million for service vehicles.

In Cebu City, the Bfar 7’s new building was not spared. Its ceiling and fourth floor were destroyed by Odette’s strong winds, and two of the Bfar 7’s service vehicles were damaged by fallen debris.

Projects destroyed

In Cebu, Aldrin Vargas of the Bfar 7-Cebu Provincial Fishery Office (PFO) posted photos on Facebook showing Bfar-aided fishery livelihood projects in three northeastern Cebu towns damaged due to Typhoon Odette.

When Odette slammed into Carcar City at 10 p.m. last Dec. 16, it brought maximum sustained winds of 175 kilometers per hour (kph) and gusts of up to 240 kph to the city in southern Cebu.

Even if Odette focused its fury on central and southern Cebu, it did not spare the mariculture projects in northern Cebu.

The mariculture project in Poro town in the Camotes Islands was torn down by Odette’s huge waves, the Bfar 7-Cebu PFO said.

On mainland Cebu, the Cebu PFO said the owner of a fishery livelihood project in Borbon town on the northeastern seaboard “could hardly recognize the fish pen structure established offshore” after Odette went through it.

Three towns away, in Carmen, some fish cage and fish corral projects had also been washed off to the shores of a nearby coastal village.

In Bohol, Bfar 7 said the mariculture park in Calape financed and managed jointly by Bfar 7 and the Calape Municipal Government had incurred damage to the tune of P20 million, after the facility, a patrol boat, fish cage structures, hauler and service boats were destroyed, and the edifice was damaged.

Bfar 7 Bohol Provincial Fishery Officer Candido Samijo also documented damage to the bureau’s Multi-Species Hatchery in Barangay Sinandigan, Ubay, showing all of the facility’s floating structures washed out by Odette’s strong winds and waves.

Also in Ubay town, the Brackishwater Fish Farm in Barangay Poblacion suffered damage after its fishponds were flooded and the tilapia feeds for livelihood projects soaked in water.

In Barangay Caluwasan, Clarin, Bohol, Ma. Rocile Angela Josol of the Bfar 7-Clarin Freshwater Fish Farm showed photos of fish belly up, indicating that some species reared at the farm had not survived Odette’s wrath.

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