April 3, 2016 at 9:20 pm Leave a comment

Feedmix: ‘We will keep waters clean at all times’ 
DAGUPAN CITY – The proponents of the multi-species hatchery in Bolinao allayed the fears of resort owners and residents near the proposed hatchery, saying, “it is our selfish interest to keep the waters clean at all times.”
In a statement, the Feedmix Specialist Inc. explained that the proposed hatchery will have an extensive water treatment system, which would be designed with multiple layers of sedimentation and natural bio-filters such as seaweeds and oysters—before the hatchery’s water is released back into the sea.
“This makes both environmental and business sense, since the hatchery would rely on the same source of seawater to rear its marine life,” Feedmix vice president for business development Alex Soriano said.
 The Feedmix, a Bulacan-based aquaculture company, is the proponent of the Cape Bolinao Sustainable Marine Finfish Hatchery and Eco-Learning Center, a multi-species hatchery, in Patar village.
The hatchery project sought the full support of the local government to sustain the endorsements of the barangay Patar in 2013.  Public consultations, and stakeholder discussions from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Tourism.
The Bolinao’s  Sangguniang Bayan favorably endorsed the hatchery in July 2015, “along with strong support from the above agencies as it would have minimal environmental impacts, if any, and will strongly benefit the economy and the nation’s food security,” the Feedmix said.
Soriano added that the can also share its water treatment technology to resorts in the area.
“Fact is, resorts lacking sewage treatment plants, solid waste processing, and adequate water systems, will exude untreated human waste into the ocean sewage, he said.
The company explained that the environment concerns of some resort owners may be addressed in a larger frame of development agenda; risk reduction, pro-active environmental conservation and adaptation measures to contribute to long-term preservation and development gains of Bolinao.
“It is common to see fish/shrimp hatcheries side-by-side luxury hotels and resorts in famous tourist destinations such as in Phuket, Thailand and Gondol, Indonesia. Complementation of both tourism and aquaculture will surely benefit the local economy and people, ” the statement  added.
The Feedmix likewise said the vertically integrated company would use its own fish feeds, which are essentially ground fish protein, shaped with natural binders, and does not contain  antibiotics, banned chemicals, or synthetic binders.
The hatchery’s marine animals will be reared in tanks due to the delicate water conditions required, and will pose little risk of escaping into the wild, and biosecurity measures would prevent disease from developing.
The company mentioned international advocacy groups such as the David Suzuki Foundation as promoting  sustainable aquaculture regulations and standards, and are not outright opposed to the industry as a whole.
It would provide new jobs that would adhere to labour standards, benefit and diversify the regional economy, and establish a sustainable source of seeds for fish/shrimp farming in the Philippines instead of depleting wild populations or importing from neighboring countries.   There is a need for multi-stakeholder cooperation and collaboration for the benefit of the people of Bolinao.
The Feedmix likewise pointed out the need to look local livelihoods like small-scale fish faming, rather than let local fishermen venture out into more dangerous waters.
“Hatchery operations will surely augment the seasonal summer employment for most locals.  The hatchery project would likewise provide secure jobs with law mandated salary and benefits,” it said.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other government agencies have emphasized that hatcheries  would not only benefit the regional economy, but also the national aquaculture industry. Numerous thriving small-scale polyculture farms have benefited multiple regions, including inland parts of Luzon.
It added that if the project pushes through soon, “we see the country progressing side-by-side with its neighboring Southeast Asian countries, at least in terms of fostering food security.”.
“With a successful local hatchery, government agencies could directly monitor food safety and environmental standards, and provide a sustainable supply of fry to the 300,000 or so Filipinos working in aquaculture,” the Feedmix said.
The hatchery commits to provide 50,000 fish and shrimp fry monthly for local fish pond growers, and would provide an alternative to bangus fry imports from Indonesia, where half of the Philippines’ 3.2 billion bangus fry is being purchased annually.
It will also include an eco-learning center for public education on marine life. In total, the site would initially provide 70 jobs and business activity in the area, the company said.
The Feedmix likewise said with the country’s growing population of over 100 million, there is a need to strengthen aquaculture to sustainably feed the resorts, the restaurants, and homes of the country.
“The Philippines is importing too much food and not producing enough for its own people. We already import farmed fish such as cream dory and salmon from neighboring countries, only they are subject to less oversight and food safety standards than if they were to be grown here.
“Aquaculture is a growing industry in the Philippines, and this hatchery could present the opportunity for the country to find its own strength rather than depend on its neighbors.  The project as a whole looks at the long-term goal and agenda of food security; fisheries development; sustainability; environmental protection and preservation; jobs for the community and taking care of the well-being and quality of life of the people,” the company said.


Entry filed under: News.

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