Aquaculture bill up for House plenary approval


The House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources has recently endorsed for plenary approval a bill institutionalizing the Aqua-Negosyo Program to help the marginalized fisherfolk as well as those who would want to venture into the business of fisheries and aquaculture.

Panel Chairman and Negros Occidental Rep. Leo Rafael Cueva said the committee approved last Wednesday the unnumbered substitute bill to House Bill 7792, or the proposed Philippine Center for Aquaculture and Fisheries Development Act.

The bill, authored by Pangasinan Rep. Christopher de Venecia, would institutionalize an Aqua-Negosyo Program in every agro-industrial business corridor in the fisheries management areas. It would create for the purpose the Aqua-Negosyo Centers, a one-stop shop for aquaculture entrepreneurs.

According to de Venecia, the bill seeks to transform existing technology centers and other similar instrumentalities of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) into aqua-negosyo centers to be placed in every fisheries management area in the country, with the National Integrated Fisheries Technology Development Center (NIFTDC) in Dagupan, Pangasinan as their model.

From being the originally established as a 3-hectare research and technology center focused on oyster production, de Venecia said the BFAR-NIFTDC has expanded into a 35-hectare prime center that currently operates a wide array of developed and matured aquaculture and post harvest fisheries technologies for 23 years in Dagupan City.

“Breeding and propagation of economically important aquaculture commodities of marine, brackish and freshwater species are developed in the center due to its topographical advantages,” he said.

The lawmaker also said the center has the best laboratory facilities, including Environmental Monitoring Laboratory, Microbiology Laboratory, Fish Health and Molecular Pathology Laboratory, Natural Food Production and Phycology Laboratory.

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