By Development Communication Section
SEAFDEC/AQD Chief Dr. Felix Ayson was in Baler, Aurora on 14 January to check on the status of the multi-species hatchery, a component of the mariculture park project in Casiguran initiated by the Office of Senator Edgardo Angara in 2008.
AQD conducted site and socioeconomic assessments in the municipalities of Casiguran and Baler in 2008; designed the hatchery in 2009 (construction commenced in February 2010); and signed an agreement for a consortium to run the hatchery in 2011 with ASCOT (Aurora State College of Technology), BFAR-3 (Bureau of Fisheries & Aquatic Resources – Central Luzon), and Aurora Mariculture Inc. Through the agreement and on the same year, AQD sent a technician to Baler to help/train BFAR-3’s technical staff in operating the hatchery. From that time on, the hatchery has been producing milkfish fry which are then reared in a nursery and stocked in the Casiguran mariculture park.
In the initial project assessments, there was also the engagement of DENR (Department of Environment & Natural Resources), provincial government of Aurora; municipality of Casiguran; and barangays Esteves, Dibet, Dibacong and Cozo.