Fish Processing Project
About the Implementing organization
Name: Kadagatan Ampingan Pagmata Katawhan (KAAMPAKA)
Year of establishment: 2008
Type of organization: Community-based association or organization / Community enterprise or business
The Fish Processing Project is a biodiversity-friendly enterprise that provides livelihood to small fisherfolks in Cortes, Surigao del Sur while conserving the marine resources available in the area. Through the assistance of the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources, the KAAMPAKA was able to start an enterprise. The community-based manufacturing process highlights the production from dried fish in sustainable ways. The KAAMPAKA involve other family members of their members in deboning, drying, and packaging.
The enterprise is a not a typical fish drying business. The rabbitfish, locally known as danggit, is abundant in the waters of Cortes. After establishing a marine protected area to address the rampant dynamite fishing and rapid degradation of their marine resources, there is a designated multiple use zone where fisherfolks can still catch fish using un-destructive methods such as hook-and-line and mesh net. The multiple use zone is like a natural rabbitfish ranch where fisherfolks harvest only the fish that has reached its size of maturity. The KAAMPAKA educates the fisherfolks about the maturity size of a rabbitfish i.e. it has already spawn a new generation of fish for replenishment.
The enterprise addressed two issues in the community – marine conservation and sustainable livelihood. In effect, it also contributes in ensuring food security through sustainable use of marine resources for the future generation.
Oceans / Coasts
Type of Action
Protection / Sustainable use / Access and benefit sharing
Sustainable Development Element
Jobs and livelihoods / Food security / Climate action
Since the KAAMPAKA buys only those fish caught in sustainable methods, small fisherfolks are motivated to catch matured sizes of fish and employ sustainable methods like hook-and-line. The small fisherfolks who are members of the association are volunteer guards of MPA. They took on the responsibility of protecting their source of livelihood.
Through the KAAMPAKA’s effort to address coastal issues, they lobbied to local policy makers to institutionalize marine conservation efforts and was successfully receiving constant support from the LGU to maintain the management cost of the MPA.
Sustainable Development Impacts
Based on the Participatory Coastal Resource Assessment conducted, members' average income is only P21,088.20/yr for those members engaged in fishing and for members engaged in both fishing and farming have an average income of P36,480/yr. In CARAGA Region where Cortes belongs, the annual per capita poverty threshold is at P19,629 in 2012. This means that for a family of five to meet its minimum basic needs, it has to earn an annual income of P98,145.
One of the main sustainable impacts of the project is the biodiversity-friendly source of income for their family. Once a mother earns money from fish drying and deboning, the solution is providing her an opportunity to send his kids to school; the family is one step farther from the poverty line. The revolving fund of the KAAMPAKA is also used in managing the MPA in Cortes. The income generated from the biodiversity-friendly enterprise plows back to the conservation efforts in order to manage their resources sustainably.
The status of fishing industry in the Philippines is nearing critical level, that is overfishing is one of the most prevailing concerns in different fishing grounds in the country. The KAAMPAKA’s innovative solution of a community-based manufacturing while conserving the environment should be a learning model for other areas who are into biodiversity-friendly enterprise. It provides alternative livelihood to the people, specifically to the small fisherfolks who are relying solely in fishing. More people will earn money from the economic value of a processed fish, while conserving the marine environment.
Concerned national government agencies can cite the KAAMPAKA’s work as one of the good practices that can be expanded at the national scale. A market study can be conducted to determine the demands in the market on other fish products similar to dried rabbitfish. The Philippines has a lots of potentials to be one of the main sources of these products made in eco-friendly way.
The KAAMPAKA’s initiative is definitely replicable in other areas in tropical region where herbivorous fish are abundant. The materials needed are available in the market. The technology can be transferred through capacity building and skills training. There are many coastal communities in search of a lucrative means of earning money which are marine-based. However, one of the main factors that need to be considered is the market where fish products can be sold at a competitive price. The KAAMPAKA was able to sell their quality products at Php 1,000.00 per kilo compare to the Php 700.00 common market price of dried rabbitfish. The KAAMPAKA’s dried rabbitfish are larger in sizes because they only process fish catch that has already reached the maturity size.
It can be replicated in other areas through the support of local government units, assistance from national government agencies like the fishery bureau, or engagement with private sector.
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