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BFAR unveils smokehouse for ‘tamban’ in Sorsogon

By Marlon Atun

A concrete facility where fish is cured with smoke to preserve it and add flavor has been turned over by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to the municipal government of Castilla in Sorsogon.

The “tinapahan” at Barangay Poblacion, reportedly the first modern smokehouse in the province of Sorsogon, will be operated by the village’s fisherfolk, who are in need of alternative livelihood.

The facility is expected to produce some 500 kilos of smoked fish or tinapa a day with Castilla residents as primary clients according to BFAR.

Nelson Bien, BFAR Bicol regional director, said the smokehouse will improve the “sustainability and value adding” of Tamban (herring) products in Sorsogon. The sea of Sorsogon is abundant in Tamban, which are generally prepared, cooked and tinned in canning factories in the country.

Bien said the full operation of the smokehouse will be determined by the fisherfolk who are in charge of the facility.

He expressed optimism that the smokehouse will operate in full throttle after the beneficiaries completed a two-day workshop that upgraded their capability to run the facility.

On the other hand, the Municipal Agriculture Office of Castilla vowed to provide technical assistance needed by the beneficiaries.

SQUID CATCHERS The Sorsogon provincial government thru its agriculture office turns over 70 squid jigglers and accessories to fisherfolk in Donsol, Sorsogon to help them catch bigger squids, thus improve their income from fishing.

A brainchild of the barangay council of Poblacion, the smokehouse is envisioned to raise the income of fishermen in the locality.

Punong Barangay Alex Sotto said the council will closely monitor the facility to make sure that the system will be followed. Also, the council will help market the products to target clients outside the municipality.

For their part, the beneficiaries pledged to take care of the facility to make it last.

Rodolfo France, head of the fisherfolk association in the village, said he and the rest of the fisherfolk appreciated the government for the smokehouse as it would enable them to eke out a living especially when bad weather makes it dangerous for small fishing boats to go out to sea.

The smokehouse is the most modern of its kind since the process of making tinapa (smoked fish) in the facility is different from the traditional way as it reduces the production of polyaromatichydocarbon from smoke which, according to BFAR, is cancer-causing.

The smokehouse has adopted the technology that was first used in South Africa and then introduced in the country by BFAR.

In a similar move, the provincial government of Sorsogon distributed 70 squid jigger sets to the members Sta. Cruz Fisherfolk Association last Dec. 22 in barangay Sta. Cruz, Donsol.

The squid jiggers will be used exclusively for the big squids that are perennially found in Sta. Cruz, Donsol Sorsogon, said Debbie Fewelo, public information officer of Office of the Provincial Agriculturist (OPAG) said.

According to Ronilo Conde, the project focal person, each squid jigger cost P3,000 including its accessories.

The jiggers will only catch the harvestable sizes of squids for market consumptions, thus sparing the small squids in the area. (PIA5/Sorsogon)


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