• GILBERT P. BAYORAN
The establishment of a multi-species marine hatchery in E. B. Magalona, known for its blue crab industry in Negros Occidental, got the full support of Third District Rep. Jose Francisco Benitez.
This was after EB Magalona Mayor Marvin Malacon sought the expertise and assistance of the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) and the Department of Agriculture (DA) – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), to conduct site assessment in three coastal barangays of E. B. Magalona, for the establishment of a marine hatchery in the town.
Areas being looked into as a possible multi species marine hatchery site are Sitio Panaosawon in Brgy. Tuburan, Brgy. Pasil, and Sitio Tinapok, Brgy. Batea, all in EB Magalona.
In a statement, Benitez said “this will greatly promote seafood production and food tourism in the Third District,” adding that the hatchery will ensure sustainability and growth of aquaculture products like blue crabs, milkfish, and oysters.
Malacon, who has recently been designated chairman of the Negros Occidental Third District Coastal Resources Management and Development Council (N3CRMDC), said that drawing inspiration from the original plan of Congressman Benitez, he would like to construct a marine hatchery in any of the three suggested sites for the development of bangus (milkfish), bulgan (sea bass), mud crab, inid (lapu-lapu/grouper), hito (catfish), and talaba (oysters).
He added that the marine hatchery will ensure the sustainability and growth of these aquaculture products which will yield high volume and bigger markets.
N3CRMDC is a council composed of the Provincial Government, Third District, and the local governments of Victorias City, E. B. Magalona, Silay City, and Talisay City, organized to restore and conserve the coastal resources of the district.
Benitez said he expressed his appreciation to Mayor Malacon for his leadership in the N3CRMDC, and for supporting the hatchery project in his town.*