Fostering conservation-based market friendly enterprises

The product display centre

The product display centre

CCRMP is a project that was funded by the New Zealand Aid Programme and implemented by FCG ANZDEC in partnership with Coastal Conservation and Education Foundation. The project supported conservation based enterprises that benefit both the people as well promotes coastal management by reducing fishing impact in the Camiguin Province, Philippines, and closed in late 2014.

 Enhancing sustainable enterprises

Fisherfolk in the municipality of Sagay were given training on how to improve their drying technology for fish and squid produce.  They also gained more knowledge in improved drying by a study tour to another island community on the Visayas. A simple fish processing and storage facility was also set up in the Sagay area and provided support to the municipality in setting up a display (“Pasalubong “) centre in the market area as part of the LGU’s OTOP (One town, one product) Program.

Improved incomes and livelihoods

In less than a year since its operation, the group composed of 21 households has improved production of dried squid:   4,701 kilos and gross income of PhP 2,498,700.00 as well as dried anchovy and sardines: 1,575 kilos with a gross income of PhP 148,000.00.   Average monthly income of the individual direct operators (mostly women members) derived from this enterprise is PhP 1,643. This has given them 36% extra income to their average monthly income of PhP 2,433 derived from other livelihood sources. The efforts of the project has led to minimizing wastage caused by excess catch during the peak season of squids and sardines. It has also led to stabilizing of prices.

Internet-enabled solutions empowering lives of Fisher folk

Access to computers and the World Wide Web have helped fisher folk and their families (i) Lower costs (ii) Diversify product range  (iii) Improve knowledge and capacity.

  • Lower costs: Access to a computer, printer and the internet has helped the project minimize costs by in house printing of labels needed versus outsourcing the job to a commercial facility.
  • Diversify product range : Wives of fisher folk used the internet to enhance product display and range by looking online for better recipes and added products like peanut butter, polvoron” ( a semi sweet concoction made of  toasted flour, milk , sugar and butter) to their existing product line.
  • Improve knowledge and capacity: Many fisherfolk are stunned by how much knowledge they have acquired and how it has boosted their confidence. One such case is of Fernando Ocaba, the president of the Fisher’s organization who is using technology to his betterment with a little help from his college going son.

 

The wives of fishers taking charge of drying and selling of the processed fishery products

The wives of fishers taking charge of drying and selling of the processed fishery products

 

Dried Squid being prepared for packaging

Dried Squid being prepared for packaging

Fernando Ocaba, the President of the Fishers’ Organization explaining the process of drying squid using local technology.

Fernando Ocaba, the President of the Fishers’ Organization explaining the process of drying squid using local technology.

 Fisherfolk turned reef guides

Many activities were undertaken to promote ecotourism and sustainable livelihoods support.

  • Snorkelling and reef guide training: Ecotourism Support Service Enterprise of Catarman offers snorkelling services since October 2013 while the tourism facility was still incomplete. Training was provided to fisherfolk and their families in reef interpretation and guiding. A total of 15 fisherfolk (12 males, 3 females) were trained including children.  Snorkelling activity was also promoted by brochures to entice more visitors to the facility.
  • Tourism facility:  The project provided support to the LGU of Catarman to complete a tourism facility and employ two full time staff from the community to take care of the facility. A couple of months after the facility was completed and just before the project phased out , number of visitors increased significantly.
  • Municipal Economic Development Office (MEEDO):  On account of all the progress made in terms of facilities and services, the Department of Tourism has committed to provide additional support in terms of service enhancement and technical assistance in the operation of the enterprises.  The Municipal Economic Development Office (MEEDO) was established by the LGU to manage LGU enterprises, which include this tourism enterprise.

Activity achievement highlights: The goal of reduced reliance on fishing and moving towards activities like snorkelling and providing boating services is slowly being achieved. The 12 fisherfolk turned guides have reported an average monthly income of around PhP 2400.

The Catarman Tourism Center

The Catarman Tourism Center

The reef guides with visitors from Japan

The reef guides with visitors from Japan

 

Reef Guides Giving orientation to students

Reef Guides Giving orientation to students

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The reef guide also acting as  “Bantay –dagat”  (Sea-watch)

The reef guide also acting as “Bantay –dagat” (Sea-watch)