Nat’l mariculture program pushed in House
A lawmaker is pushing for a national mariculture program to expand the farming of aquatic plants and animals through sea cages, long lines and other structures in marine and coastal areas.
House Bill No. 5531, or the “National Mariculture Program,” aims to promote mariculture as a major source of livelihood for fishermen and to help ensure food security for the country.
“Mariculture, if implemented correctly and scientifically, will provide an affordable and scalable source of food for our country and provide a sustainable livelihood for our countrymen in fishing and coastal communities,” the bill’s explanatory note read.
The measure was filed by Agri party list Rep. Wilbert Lee, who said the expansion of mariculture can “significantly contribute to the food security of our country as well as our local economy.”
Mariculture refers to an integrated branch of aquaculture designed to produce fish through sea cages, long lines and other culture structures in marine and coastal areas.
High value species, such as bangus, siganid, seaweeds, oysters, mussels, red snappers and groupers can be grown through this method.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources currently implements a mariculture or marine aquaculture program at scale and HB 5531 seeks to expand this program “throughout the country in areas that are deemed conducive for mariculture.”
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