BFAR RFO-CAR
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BFAR sets up aquapark project; disperses tilapia fingerlings in Lubo Lake

By: Rodelyn Q. Foronda

Nestled at the heart of the Cordilleras, the municipality of Kibungan in Benguet offers a pristine and mountainous terrains which conveys a sense of grandeur in the scenic highland town. In this landlocked town is a newly developed aqua-tourism site which homes grand mountain ranges often called as the "Switzerland of the Philippines".

In there is where the Lubo Lake also known as Boneng Lake is situated. According to Mr. Pino M. Wakit, Chief-Fisheries Production Division, the lake was a former coal mine turned into a man-made lake. It is an abandoned open pit from mining activities and now being developed as one potential and feasible area for fish production.

In a bid to convert the lake into an Eco-Park, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera Administrative Region (BFAR-CAR) through its Fisheries Production Division conducted activities as part of the protection and conservation of the inland resource. Stocking of coloured carps (Koi), and tree planting of watersheds to prevent erosion and siltation were among the activities conducted.

To maximize the use of the resource, BFAR-CAR likewise sets up aquapark project that will contribute to increase production and attain food security in the area. Thus, new fish cages were installed to replace the existing fish cages which were already dilapidated and no longer functional. This project is composed of one module (area) consisting of four units with an area of 5 meters by 10 meters by 10 meters.

A total of 15,000 pieces Tilapia fingerlings were stocked and dispersed in the newly established fish cages assisted by the members of Pamilya Mannalon Association, Kibungan Municipal Fishery Coordinator Mr. Guarin Segundo, and LGU staff members.

The Bureau likewise provided one motorized fiber glass banca to be used in monitoring their fishery operations and activities in the lake.

On behalf of the fisherfolk, Mr. Segundo expressed gratitude for this worthwhile project and assured the bureau that these initiatives will be nurtured and taken care of.

Regular inspection and monitoring of water quality parameters will further be conducted to ensure the sustainability of the project and ensure the quality of fish grown in the cages.

This effort is part of the bureau's initiatives to support the local fisherfolk in utilizing the available water resource as alternative source of livelihood.