Philippines: BFAR Backs Buguey Lagoon Dredging

Officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said they are for the responsible dredging project in the Buguey Lagoon to improve the navigational course of fishermen in the said coastal town.

In this week’s edition of the ‘Tipon-Tipan Sa PIA,’ most of the BFAR officials said that for the last decade, boats in the area could hardly pass through the mouth of the lagoon, part of the 14-kilometer Buguey River, into the sea because of heavy siltation.

Earlier, local and foreign experts have undergone independent study on the lagoon due to its prominence as a land of international importance declared during the 1998 Ramsar, Iran Convention sponsored by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Educational Council (UNESCO).

“While dredging the lagoon is very important for navigational purposes, habitats of endemic species should be protected,Dr. Evelyn Ame, chief, Fisheries Resources Management Division said.

The lagoon is home to a variety of endemic species in the area particularly ‘siganids’ (Malaga), shrimps, shellfishes and most importantly, crabs and crablings in the wild.

The Department of Environment and Natural Resources said at least 27 species of migratory birds from Asian countries do visit the area during winter months. The presence of the fowls is an indication of the ecological balance existing in the wetlands of the lagoon, the agency added.

As early as a decade ago, the local government unit has seen the necessity of dredging the mouth of the river in Barangay Minanga as the fishermen has reported decreasing catch as an after effect of the heavy siltation in the area.

The fishery bureau expressed hope it will be included in the planning stage of the activity to suggest areas that should not be dredged as these are habitats of endemic species.

[mappress]

Dredging Today Staff, January 30, 2012

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