Dagupan dismantles fish pens built on city’s rivers

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THE CITY of Dagupan in Pangasinan thrives on its reputation as the bangus (milkfish) capital, but a new study from the World Wide Fund for Nature suggests that the proliferation of bangus fishponds has worsened floods and has increased the chances of Dagupan’s sinking. EV ESPIRITU/NORTHERN LUZON

DAGUPAN CITY, Philippines–A local government task force on Thursday started tearing down illegally built fish pens in the rivers here.

Two teams consisting of 12 members each used bolos (machetes) to manually take down the nets and uproot the bamboo poles that make up the pens.

“We will dismantle 10 fish pens today,” said task force head and city agriculturist Emma Molina.

She said there are about 205 pens on the Calmay and Dagupan rivers. Each pen is stocked with thousands of bangus (milkfish), a fish that has made this city famous.

Last month, Mayor Belen Fernandez gave the pen owners until August 31 to voluntarily tear down their pens.

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