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The town of Ampatuan in Maguindanao has received a PHP3-million community fish landing center (CFLC) from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, and Agrarian Reform–Bangsamoro Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (MAFAR-BARMM).

MAFAR-BARMM Minister Mohammad S. Yacob said Wednesday the CFLC aims to improve the socio-economic condition of Ampatuan town and other fishing communities surrounding the Liguasan Marsh, the 220,000 wetland bordering Maguindanao, Sultan Kudarat and North Cotabato provinces.

“The Liguasan marshland is rich in flora and fauna resources, including the bountiful freshwater tilapia fish, among others,” Yacob said.

On Tuesday, the MAFAR-BARMM awarded the CFLC to Ampatuan town in line with the celebration of the 58th National Fish Conservation Week.

This year’s celebration, which carries the theme: “Pangisdaan Likas-kaya, Bunga’y Masaganang Ani at Mataas na Kita”, underlines the importance of sustainable fisheries management and development in bringing about abundance for fisherfolk whose livelihood depends on the integrity of the seas, inland bodies of water, and its resources.

“Being the caretaker of MAFAR, our commitment is always to help uplift and improve the lives of our poor farmers and fisherfolk living around the marshland,” he said.

While in Ampatuan town, MAFAR field personnel also distributed initial support of 20,000 tilapia fingerlings, 54 gill nets, and 100 units of squid-jiggers, to 74 fisherfolk from Maguindanao and Cotabato City who are members of cooperatives, and some former members of the Bangsamoro Islamic Armed Forces-Moro Islamic Liberation Front.

Engr. Nasirin M. Napii, Ampatuan municipal planning and development coordinator, received the CFLC facility from MAFAR-BARMM officials.

The MAFAR-BARMM has organized a series of activities for the weeklong fish conservation celebration such as a coastal cleanup, Scuba Bangsamoro, coral nursery unit deployment, mangrove planting, fingerling dispersal, distribution of environmentally friendly fishing gears, and a poster-making contest. (PNA)

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