DAGUPAN CITY – The City Agriculture Office and the Bantay Ilog Task Force are now working double time to demolish all illegal fishpens and fish cages in the rivers.
Before leaving for the United States on a series of speaking engagements, Mayor Belen T. Fernandez ordered City Agriculture Officer Emma J. Molina and Marjorie Villanueva, also of CAO, to complete the demolition of illegal structures within two weeks.
At present the city has already demolished more than 900 fish pens with more than a hundred yet up for demolition.
This after Fernandez ordered a massive river clean-up drive upon the advice of Dr. Westly Rosario of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources as the fish pens are affecting the water quality of the rivers.
Mayor Fernandez wants to save the rivers from total degradation.
The more than a hundred owners of fishpens and illegal fish cages continue with their operations despite the warning issued by the city for them to discontinue with their illegal activities.
The owners of these structures have been notified by the CAO a month ago to voluntarily demolish their structures.
“We have given them due notice and enough time and consideration, but they continue to put another cycle of fingerlings or bangus fry after harvesting their first cycle, which gave us no other option but to dismantle their structures,” said Molina.
The city’s continuing clean up drive already benefitted thousands of small fishermen as the rivers are now clean and free from tons of feeds.
“The river must be owned by our small fishermen. When we are done with our clean-up drive, which include dredging with the help of the Department of Public Works and Highways, these local fishermen will be allowed to put up a 5x5 fish cage on a limited quantity so they won’t pollute our rivers again,” Fernandez earlier said.(Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/August 31, 2017)