For more stringent protection and conservation of the five marine protected areas (MPA) in Gonzaga, Cagayan, members of the Gonzaga Marine Protected Area Development Federation have committed to strengthen environmental law enforcement within the MPAs.
The commitment was made during the two-day capacity-building activity organized by the local government unit of Gonzaga in partnership with the Community Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) in Aparri, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Office of the Provincial Agriculturist.
Five fisherfolk associations of Barangays Amunitan, Tapel, San Jose, Casitan, and Sta. Cruz served as participants in the activity.
Newly-elected Federation President Vivencio Agcaoili planned to acquire patrol boats for monitoring activities that will safeguard each MPA against illegal encroachment.
“We will empower our law enforcement committee by adding more fish wardens who will conduct regular monitoring within our MPAs,” said Agcaoili in Iloco language.
He added the establishment of buoys to mark the coverage of MPAs. These also serve as demarcations for strict protection or ‘no-take’ zones.
During the capacity building, CENRO Aparri represented by Ecosystems Management Specialist II Emerlynn Daliong and municipal Agricultural Technologist Jamelita Flores discussed the importance of MPA and MPA network, including the roles and functions that each federation member has to play.
The participants were engaged in team-building activities that enhanced their leadership and management skills.
They also conducted a cleanup activity along the coastal area of Barangay Amunitan in observance of the Climate Change Consciousness Week.#