By Anna Valmero
TAGUIG CITY, METRO MANILA— The Department of Science and Technology (DoST) is partnering with resort owners in Bohol and the local fishermen in Pangasinan to develop a nursery for farming corals and replanting damaged reef areas.
Aside from the two provinces, the pilot project is being implemented in Leyte, Batangas and two sites in Mindanao, according to DoST chief Mario Montejo.
Experts from DoST will teach the community and the partners how to maintain a nursery and how to rehabilitate reefs using farmed coral.
“The beauty here is that community and the local resort owners see the benefits of the project that it would mean more fish to catch sustainably and more avenues for ecotourism such as scuba diving and snorkeling,” said Montejo.
Control of the frequency of fishing and the use of sustainable fishing practices will also be taught to local communities as part of the reef rehabilitation program.
These initiatives are part of the science and technology agency’s five-point agenda for 2012 that focuses on the use of local technology for agriculture, energy, service delivery and genomics.
Part of the agenda is the the development of appropriate technologies to create growth in the countryside such as food processing technologies and “smart farms”.
Talking about smart farms, Montejo said that they will install water monitoring devices in fish farms to identify the number of fish that can be optimally grown per pond to avoid fish kills and reduce the use of fertilizers while improving yield.
By next year, DoST will install 1,000 water sensors that will measure temperature, salinity and dissolved oxygen of the water in areas with fish ponds, added Montejo.
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