SEAFDEC/AQD and Taytay sa Kauswagan Inc. (TSKI) are working together as the technical assistance team for the Sustainable mariculture investment program (SMIP).
The team conducted consultation-interviews with nearly 40 mariculture stakeholders (operators, local government unit or LGU officials, fisherfolk and investors) in Digos City and the municipality of Sta. Cruz, Davao del Sur, southern Philippines, from 8 to 13 August. The consultation in Panabo City, Davao del Norte, with 40 stakeholders was done from 27 June to 2 July.
During the consultation in Sta. Cruz, a briefing on the ecological status of Tagabuli Bay was done to warn the community of the possibility of a “fish kill.” LGU-Sta. Cruz was appreciative of the scientific information shared by the team since it will help them in enforcing ordinances and making necessary legislative amendments in order to improve the management of their resources.
The SMIP program began with a contract-signing on 3 March, followed by the organization of the consulting team on 21 March. A scoping workshop was held next at AQD’s Igang Marine Station (Guimaras) on 6 April, followed by a consultation meeting with the Philippine Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and stakeholders on 3 May in Quezon City. In the last meeting, AQD Chief Dr. Joebert Toledo, together with AQD’s training&info head Mr. Renato Agbayani and SMIP program leader Dr. Clarissa Marte presented and discussed the project inception report and proposal to BFAR.
SMIP aims to provide credit and support facilities for the establishment, development, operation and maintenance of mariculture parks as well as support services and secondary industries in selected mariculture parks in the country. It is funded by the Development Bank of the Philippines (DBP) from a grant by the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation.