MASAFA: A Fishy Story

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Magoong and Samburon Fisherman Association (MASAFA) is a group of fisherfolk in the two coastal barangays of Linamon,Lanao del Norte taking responsibility in the management of the established marine protected area (MPA) of  LGU Linamon.  Community-based projects is a strategy  found to be effective in marine protection and preservation among coastal areas.

The group actively participated in the coral transplantation project that aimed to preserved and enhance the coral reefs in the area.  The six-hectare MPA is under the responsibility of MASAFA committing to protect its surrounding waters.  They are patrolling the the area to prevent unwanted intruders disturbing the waters which includes beach goers.

As recipient of NRM project, the group was provided assistance in terms of income generating activities as alternative source of livelihood for the fisherfolk. A start-up capital of PhP 250,000.00 for their proposed  bangus production through fish cages  which they will managed to improve their capacity and capability to implement economic activities for the community.  As on-ground investments to support for their livelihood and improve their incomes.

MASAFA is just one of the rural communities that receive funding and technical support to pursue the objectives of the Mindanao Rural Development Program 2 in pump-priming Mindanao’s rural economy.

At Work: Beyond the Surface

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Finally, the concluding phase of the transplantation project took off and the massive operations started few days back.  The stakeholders eagerly waited for the completion of the project, it has been delayed and long been overdue from its timelines. To finish it off, the one hectare nursery from the six hectares marine protected area will be transplanted with acropora corals, twenty five modules will be fully planted, approximately about 4000 pvc pipe molders will be in placed.  It’s a formidable task, as of last week they planted about 1/10 of the total target area.

Despite a long week at work, I chose to spend my weekend in Linamon for the underground work.  The desire was so great and the Lord again perfectly arranged things for the trip.  The last time I went down the area was twenty months ago when few substrates were plant-tested with acropora corals taken from the nearby area of the sanctuary.  There had been great changes after such period, I would say for the better.  The plantlets have grown and branched out greatly – the tower substrates now looked like full-grown shrub or a small tree.  The concrete substrates withstood two typhoons that hit the region during the period, which could only mean it could last long from water currents and fierce movements underwater.

On a larger scale, the socio-economic impact of this project has favorably affected the community, beginning to understand the obligation to protect the environment and the resources where they are dependent for their livelihood.  The fisherfolk association of Samburon and Magoong have unite themselves to enforce and support the ordinance for the marine protected area.

The descents didn’t just freshen my gills but in more ways renewed my hope that we still can do something to protect and enhance our degrading underwater world.  We just need to get our acts together.

Note:

Linamon is situated in Lanao del Norte, the first town after Iligan City.  The famous Tinago Falls (western bank) is under the jurisdiction of this municipality. Another Natural Resource Management (NRM) project, the Preservation and Protection of Tinago Watershed under the MRDP is also in place.