Typhoon Helen floods. (Photo: YouTube/lancerpntgrd)
Deeper losses for fish farmers due to strong storms
Tuesday, August 21, 2012, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
More fish cage and fishpond operators in the Philippines’s Ilocos Region have been affected by the last two typhoons and the monsoon rains as heavy flooding caused by Typhoon Helen struck last week. Preliminary reports indicated that the losses in terms of losses in bangos and tilapia stocks amounted to some PHP 780,000 (USD 18,400) and damages to facilities was pegged at PHP 26,000 (USD 613.2).
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 1 director Nestor Domenden reported that at least 113 fish operators were hit: 102 in Pinili, Ilocos Norte and 11 in Magsingal, Ilocos Sur and Santo Tomas in La Union. Fingerlings escaped from the fish cages and there were damaged dikes and 7.5 tonnes of marketable sized tilapia were lost.
Previously, the damages to fish cage and farm operators caused by the succession of typhoons Ferdie and Gener followed by the heavy monsoon rains already totalled about PHP 584 million (USD 13.8 million) in losses, according to BFAR. Of this amount, 96 per cent or PHP 562.3 million (USD 13.3 million) comes from losses in terms of cost of inputs such as feeds and market value of fish.
Further, at least 7,981 fish pond and fish cage operators from regions 1, 2, 3, 4A and the Cordillera Administrative Region have suffered as a result of the storms and floods.
Region 3 remains the hardest hit with 8,827 ha or 21 per cent of the total production areas affected. Fish damages in terms of cost of inputs and farm gate price were estimated at PHP 507 million (USD 11.96 million) and damages to facilities at PHP 12.7 million (USD 299,528); the number of operators affected is 6,225 or 78 per cent of the total for all regions.
BFAR Director Asis G Perez had instructed all hatcheries operated by the bureau’s regional offices not affected by the typhoons to keep bangus and tilapia fry in stock for distribution to affected fish operators once volatile weather conditions subside.
Perez assured that the supply of bangus and tilapia remains stable at the National Capital Region. Most of these fish are sourced from the fish cages in Taal Lake, where there have been no fish kills this year thanks to proper resource management by all stakeholders.
The industry has seen negative growth for 7 consecutive quarters, as a regional fishing ban to protect overfished tuna in the Pacific Ocean led to a 3.33 per cent drop in output during the first six months of the year, said Perez. The industry was looking forward to positive growth now that the ban has been lifted, but the latest losses could continue to hamper production, Rappler.com reports.
- Flooding causes millions of dollars in losses
By Natalia Real