Sipalay awarded as outstanding coastal community in W. Visayas

SIPALAY City in Negros Occidental was among the top three awardees in the Search for Outstanding Coastal Community of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas.

Dubbed “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan,” the competition forms part of the ongoing 54th Fish Conservation Week celebration held at Iloilo Fish Port Complex in Iloilo City.

Sipalay, which placed third and was the only awardee from Negros Occidental, will receive P500,000 worth fishery project from BFAR-Western Visayas.

Provincial Agriculturist Japhet Masculino said Thursday that having a clean, vibrant and well managed coastal community pays.

It results to abundant fish catch for the fisherfolk which means more income, he said.

“It can also be a good tourism attraction which again results to more livelihood for the community,” Masculino said, urging other coastal localities in the province to replicate the good practices of Sipalay in terms of protection and management of fishery resources.

Nueva Valencia town in Guimaras and Anilao town in Iloilo bagged the first and second places, respectively.

BFAR-Western Visayas Director Remia Aparri, in a press statement, said the competition aims to promote fisheries protection and conservation centered on the significance of sustainable fisheries and aquatic resources management.

Aparri urged other coastal cities and towns in Western Visayas to participate in the annual search and advocate the five measures mandated by the BFAR.

These include the efforts of local government units to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing; observe closed fishing season; establish marine protected areas; maintain clean coastal waters; and effective mangrove rehabilitation program.

National winner of the search will receive P30 million. The second and third placers will get P18 million and P10 million, respectively. (EPN)