Dismantling of fishpens resume at Laguna Lake
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) are resuming clearing operations for fish cages in Laguna de Bay this month.
The DENR and LLDA were just waiting for the LLDA board resolution allowing large-scale fishpen Disoperators to self-dismantle to expire last March 31.
This means all structures within the 90,000-hectare lake are now considered illegal.
First to go are 30 fishpens, each measuring from 50 to five hectares.
LLDA-registered fishcages measuring one hectare and below, which are operated by ordinary fisherfolk, will be spared pursuant to President Duterte’s order to prioritize the average fisherfolk.
The DENR and LLDA plan to complete the clearing operation by the middle of the year, in time for the second State of the Nation Address (SONA) of President Duterte, who, during his first SONA ordered the dismantling of big fish pens and cages in Laguna Lake to allow small fishermen to gain access to the lake’s traditional fishing grounds.
The moratorium on the construction of fishpens will result in losses of P50 million for LLDA, which collects fees from fishpen operators.
The LLDA seeks to dismantle 347 fishpens covering 10,181.93 hectares, more than 90 percent of which or 9,326.1 hectares are occupied by 222 corporations, while another 620.49 hectares are operated by 114 individuals.
The remaining 235.34 hectares are occupied by 11 fishing cooperatives.