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BFAR-V, BU earmark P7.3M PRSA project for gulfs

LEGAZPI CITY---The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Region V (BFAR-V) recently converged with the Bicol University (BU) Center for Policy Studies and Development to work on the intensive research entitled Participatory Resource and Socio-Economic Assessment (PRSA) in the Fishing Grounds of Albay, Ragay and Asid gulfs purposely to define the status of socio-cultural, economic institutional policy characteristics and assessment on aquatic ecology, habitats, water quality, capture fisheries and establish the GIS-based mapping and working database of the three Bicol fishing grounds with the aim of recommending suitable approaches to improve the weakening produce of fishery resources in the areas.

PRSA research program leader Prof. Ronnel R. Dioneda Sr. said that the entire study program were divided into five project components. Project 1 delved on the baseline socio-cultural, economic, institutional policy assessment and identification of potential livelihood, development of doable institutional arrangement for coastal resource management planning, implementation and monitoring. Project 2 will reconnoiter on the aquatic ecology and habitat particularly on coral reefs, fish assemblage, artificial reefs, mangrove communities, sea grass and seaweed beds. Project 3 will explore on water quality assessment. Project 4 will be dealing on capture fishery resources assessment towards establishing the basic catch and effort figures, fishing gears inventory, basic catch and fish landing statistics and Project 5 will focus on establishing data base and GIS mapping.

The five project components will be spearheaded by Prof. Erwin E. Torres, Prof. Ronnel R. Dioneda Sr, Prof. Grace L. Aytona, Prof. Angelo P. Candelaria and Prof. Benedicto B. Balilo respectively.

There were other collaborating agencies and selected researchers from Partido State University (PSU), TESDA-Camarines Sur Institute of Fisheries and Marine Sciences (CASIFMAS), TESDA-Masbate Institute of Fisheries Technology (MIFT), Dr. Emilio B. Espinosa, Sr Memorial State College of Agri and Tech (DEBESMSCAT), Ragay National Agricultural and Fisheries School (RNAFS) and WWF-Philippines.

Last March 2 and 3 the office of the BU Vice President for Research, Development and Extension called for a special meeting and seminar workshop to the entire research team held at the Costa Palmera Resort, Sto. Domingo. Albay to brief and acquaint the team about the rationale of the program, plan for strategies and dry run research protocol and processes. On March 4, an inception meeting was held at BU-BRFICC Amphitheater together with the key personnel of BFAR, study team from BU, researchers from the collaborative agencies and LGU officials from the coastal towns of Albay, Ragay and Asid Gulf.

The research project is expected to culminate in June 2019.

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