River clean-up spawns better and varied seafood products

DAGUPAN CITY, May 7 (PIA) — The dismantling of fish pens and fish cages along the city’s river system has helped clean its waters and allowed the migration and proliferation of several varieties of fishes.

Mayor Benjamin S. Lim said the removal of these structures that started early last year enabled fish growers from several island barangays to rear grouper (lapu-lapu) and giant trevally (talakitok) aside from bangus and tilapia.

“The structures served as barriers that prevented these species from moving into the river,” he said, during the KBP Forum held at the Philippine Information Agency last May 3.

The structures also contributed to the siltation of the rivers that led to the thickening of the river beds and made it incapable of sustaining several species of fish.

As an alternative livelihood for those affected by the clean-up, the city government introduced oyster farming in the communities, particularly in barangay Lucao. Oyster farming has the additional advantage of cleansing the river, as an oyster can clean about 50 gallons of water every day, according to Lim.

The mangroves planted along the river banks, meanwhile, help create breeding grounds for fishes and has the added effect of fortifying dikes.

Lim said this effort to increase food production aids the city in realizing its goal to become the Food Capital of the North.

The city government has been moving towards that goal thru the promotion of lechon (roast pig), the pigar-pigar (thinly sliced and deep-fried beef) and the Bonuan bangus. (JCR/ARRF-PIA 1 Pangasinan)

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