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Fisheries bureau boosts eel stock in Benguet

LA TRINIDAD, Benguet—The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, led by chief aquaculturist Pino Wakit, in coordination with the provincial and municipal local government units, has seeded eels along fish sanctuaries of Agno and Amburayan rivers in Itogon, Bokod, and Kapangan, Benguet.

Some 50,000 glass eels were stocked in a fish sanctuary located in lower Agno River where they are protected from fishing and contaminants.

Another 100,000 glass eels were stocked along the Upper Agno and Amburayan rivers in Bokod and Kapangan, Benguet, respectively.

This seeding is part of the regular programs of the bureau to increase stocks available in rivers and communal bodies of water. This is also a way of providing livelihood and ensuring food security to communities near bodies of water.

Eel is a sought after species as food but fisherfolk say their eel catch is declining.

BFAR-CAR’s data through the National Stock Assessment Program show that many fisherfolk in said areas catch eel in the rivers for food and cash.

Eels are catadromous, spending most of their life in freshwater environments, then travel to the ocean as adults to reproduce. During their journey, become vulnerable to overfishing and mortality due to toxins and contaminants. In other areas, their migration paths are cut and their habitats are disturbed and destroyed preventing them to go upstream to grow.

Wakit called on local officials to be consistent in protecting not only the fish sanctuaries but the whole water bodies in Benguet.

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