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BULA, CAMARINES SUR --- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource-Bikol kicks off the celebration of the 55th Fish Conservation Week on September through a Caravan in the six provinces of Bicol Region.

After more than fifty decades of celebrating the Fish Conservation Week on the third week of October, it was transferred to the third month of September in line with the Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month (MANA Mo). This was under the Proclamation No. 316 signed by the President of the Philippines on 2017. 

The caravan changed the usual individual and different activities of the regional bureau and each provincial fisheries office during the Fish Conservation Week from September 17-21, 2018.

The formal opening of the celebration was done at the BFAR-5 Regional Office in the morning of Monday, September 17, 2018 then proceeded with the caravan in the afternoon.

Carrying the theme "Kapag Karagatan ng Munisipal ay Inalagaan, Sasagana ang Yamang Dagat ng Buong Sambayanan," the caravan aims to intensify the information campaign on the Republic Act 8550 as Amended by RA. 10654 and to encourage the local government units and the fisherfolk to participate in the program and projects of the bureau especially the Balik Sigla sa Ilog at Lawa (BASIL) and Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK).  Moreover, to continuously protect their municipal waters and marine resources for a sustainable fisheries.

One of the important events in the caravan is the open forum among BFAR-Bikol representatives,  fisherfolk, representatives from Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils, representatives from the municipal Agriculture Offices, and partner-agencies such as Philippine Coast Guard and Philippine National Police. Queries on the illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing were the major topics of concern and given explanations and clarifications. Trivia on fisheries and raffle were also held. The recital of “Panunumpa sa Pangangalaga sa Karagatan” ends the caravan program in every province.

 The BFAR5 caravan were done simultaneously in the Mainland (composed of Sorsogon, Albay, Camarines Sur and Camarines Norte), Masbate and Catanduanes. The Mainland team started from the southern part of Bicol mainland - in Bulan, Sorsogon to Sorsogon City, Sorsogon; then in Tabaco City, Albay; Calabanga & Ragay, Camarines Sur and ended at Mercedes, Camarines Norte. On the other hand, in the island-provinces of Catanduanes and Masabate, the caravan were done on September 18 and 20 respectively.

The bangus mascot named "Chacha,” the ambassador of the Tigaon Pride Campaign for Sustainable Fisheries was one of the highlights during the caravan to relay the message of protecting and conserving the marine species.

BFAR Bikol Regional Director Dennis V. Del Socorro encourages the local government units in the region to actively participate and support in the programs and projects of BFAR that aims to alleviate the fisherfolk sector and to protect, conserve and manage their municipal waters to combat the illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing.

The BFAR 5 caravan became successful through the support and participation of the local government units and fisherfolk in the region. (kathilotin)