SEA RANCHING: An inexpensive way of catching fish!

Former Negros Occidental Gov. Alfredo Marañon initiated the rehabilitation of Carbin Reef so that the fisherfolks can engage in sea ranching. He is at right being interviewed by Zac B. Sarian.

THE SMALL fishermen of Sagay, Negros Occidental, unlike many of their counterparts in other coastal areas in the country, are happy and contented. They have a thriving fishing ground, thanks to the conservation efforts of municipal officials. In fact in the three-island Brgy. of Molocaboc, the fisherfolks are not only catching fish in the ocean, they are engaged in sea ranching, of which Rep. Alfredo T. Marañon is very proud.

NO BIG CAPITAL NEEDED – Sea ranching is a very inexpensive way of catching fish. It does not involve a big investment, and the good thing about it is that it does not destroy the fishing ground. It is a sustainable form of fishing.

MARINE REHAB MADE IT POSSIBLE РSea ranching is, of course, possible because of the marine rehabilitation and conservation efforts initiated in the area since 1980 when Congressman Mara̱on was still the mayor of Sagay. As a result, the reefs and corals are in good condition and sea grasses abound.

MOUNDS ARE BUILT – In sea ranching the fisherfolks build mounds in the shallower portion of he coastal areas. These mounds consist of rocks and stones which are piled loosely so that pockets of spaces between them serve as hiding places of the fish.

FAVORITE HIDING PLACE OF LAPU-LAPU – The mounds are the favorite hiding places of lapu-lapu, rabbit fish and many other kinds of fish, including crabs. Every two months or so, the fish hiding in the mound is harvested. This is done during low tide. By removing the rocks, the fish are driven to the net pocket and are caught alive.

15 KG EVERY 2 MONTHS – Usually, one mound could yield 15 kilos of lapu-lapu and other species. The fisherfolks return to the sea the small ones so that they will grow bigger for future harvest.

DYNAMITE FISHERS DEVASTATED THE PLACE – The marine rehabilitation and conservation efforts started at the Carbin reef off the town of Sagay in 1980. Like many other fishing grounds Carbin reef was in a sorry state. Dynamite fishers devastated 80 percent of the corals in the reef.

Then Mayor Marañon sought the technical assistance of Dr. Angel Alcala, a marine biologist, to implement the marine conservation program.

JUST LEFT ALONE – What was done to rehabilitate the reef? The area was left alone. The area was off limits to fishermen. They could drop anchor but they couldn’t fish.

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