|~ sample photo only ~|
ILLEGAL fishing is always tempting.
For a fisherman who has had rough times with a growing family and debts, blast and fine meshed nets fishing can be the solution that even sparks hope for a brighter future.
It smells smack of a Cinderella story – another rags-to-riches episode that sadly, however, is not sustainable. It is short-lived and immediately snuffs out that spark of hope even before it ignites.
Rep. Erico Aristotle Aumentado of Bohol’s 2nd District decided to make the difference for the fishermen among his constituents.
“Unless one is born with the proverbial golden spoon in the mouth, today’s high cost of living can be intimidating,” Aumentado said.
To wean the fishermen from thoughts of – and getting a crack at – the high risk path to “getting rich quick” by engaging in illegal fishing, the solon tapped the resources of the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) for project proposal preparation trainings and funding for alternative livelihood for them.
These past two weeks, he has been island-hopping in Bien Unido town to provide funds to the fishermen and women’s groups according to the projects they proposed.
Implementing fishery laws is the province of the executive department but providing funding and technical assistance can very well be done by the legislative department, he explained.
The projects range from pumpboats and fishing nets to replace those washed away by supertyphoon Yolanda, seaweeds or guso planting, planting materials and fertilizers for the farmers in the islands and even livestock or goat and native chicken dispersal with incubator for the eggs so that the chickens can lay eggs continuously for the women’s groups.
This way, the solon said, the fishermen can continue fishing using legal methods, augment their income with the seaweeds and the goat and chickens plus eggs for sale and consumption.
He said he will also replicate best practices of these beneficiaries to counterparts in the islands of other towns as well as the mainland within the district. --- END