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NGO eyes 'fish condos' to help rehabilitate coral reefs in Visayan Sea

November 16, 2012 7:15pm
Construction of so-called “fish condos” has started in the Visayan Sea to help rehabilitate coral reefs there and support the government’s ban on sardine fishing.

“Fish condos” are a simple and inexpensive way of building fish shelter, according to the non-government organization School of the Sea and Earth Advocates (SEA), which is spearheading the project.

Tony Oposa, the group’s prime mover in Bantayan Island, said they have partnered with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for the construction of “fish condos.”

“It has been a long wait, but it is still worth the advocacy,” Oposa said.

 A fish condo, which can be constructed from a concreted net-covered bamboo frame, is a structure where gravid fish could lay their eggs. It can also provide refuge for small fishes as marine plants and other organisms could attach and grow in the artificial shelter.
 
Depending on the size, a fish condo could be build for a minimum of P150.00 apiece.
 
Oposa said the materials used in the fish shelter closely approximates that of the coral reef, which is made mostly from the calcium carbonate secretions of tiny marine animals commonly referred as corals.
 
The concrete cast, in turn, is made from three-fourths calcium-rich limestones combined with one-fourth part concrete and shredded plastic wraps.
 
“I urge our stakeholders to support this important management measure to ensure the sustainable production of sardines and mackerel in our seas,” Oposa said.
 
He added that because of rampant dynamite and cyanide fishing, there is not a single reef in the Bantayan Island that is in good condition.
 
Bantayan Island is covered by BFAR’s four-month fishing ban on mackerel and sardines, which started November 15. The fishing ban covers the Visayan seas, which straddle the Bicol as well as the Western, Central and Eastern Visayas regions. — KBK, GMA News
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