TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is looking to restore seaweed production in 100 hectares of farms in typhoon-wrecked Dawahon Islet in Bato, Leyte.
The bureau distributed on February 19 some 100 units of seaweed farm implements, 1.2 tons of seaweed seedlings, 10 units of 12-footer fiberglass boats, and 10 units of 20-footer fiberglass boats with engines and accessories, said BFAR Eastern Visayas regional director Juan Albaladejo in a phone interview Thursday.
Within the first six months of the year, some PHP4 million worth of seaweed farm implements and PHP1.5 million worth of post-harvest facility will be granted to the fisherfolk beneficiaries.
“Hopefully in three months, we can have about 100 hectares or more seaweed farms actively producing seaweeds in Dawahon Island, depending on the hard work of our seaweed farmers. I know the strength and resiliency of our Dawahon farmers, so it’s a matter of just putting the impetus and also the inputs for them to plant again,” Albaladejo said.
“BFAR will always be there to help because we know that we can bring back the production in Dawahon Bank and the sustainability of the Dawahon seaweed farmers livelihood, which will be shared with Bohol and Cebu. Altogether, we can do more wonders in our seaweed production,” he added.
Ruel Inoc, a village official and member of Dawahon Seaweed Farmers Association, thanked BFAR for the immediate response after the destructive typhoon during the turnover.
“We will wait for 30 days to produce seaweed seedlings for us to distribute to other farmers in our area,” Inoc said.
Dawahon is an islet in the Bato town with a land area of only five hectares and has a population of about 10,000.
The islet is the seaweed capital of Eastern Visayas. Its residents have been relying on seaweeds farming as their main source of living for over 50 years now.
Seaweed farms in the islet were badly destroyed by Typhoon Odette when it crossed Leyte Island on Dec. 16, 2021. The area suffered losses worth PHP200 million, including ready-to-harvest seaweeds, post-harvest facilities and fishing boats. (PNA)