Fisher folks trained to build eco-friendly fiberglass boats

By Czarina Berlynn Donne Agustin


Embracing a more eco-friendly approach in coastal protection, Mariano Marcos State University collaborated with the Tanggol Kalikasan (TK) Inc. in training fisher folks in Currimao, Ilocos Norte on the use of Fiberglass Reinforced Plastic (FRP) for boat construction.


Conducted at the beachfront of the College of Aquatic Science and Applied Technology (CASAT) from April 21-29, the training pilots the university’s adoption of the use of FRP for boat building.


FRP is a safer and more durable material resulting in longer-lasting boats. This also helps preserve natural resources as the need for wood for boat construction declines.


Organized by TK, thru the Institute of Environmental Governance (IEG) based in MMSU, the training was participated by the members of Currimao’s Fishermen Association and representatives from the province’s coastal areas. University faculty and students, and officials of the Provincial Agriculture Office also joined the event.


Supported by the Department of Agriculture - Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources through its F/B Pagbabago Livelihood and Development Program (PLDP), the training paved the way for participants to create their own boats for fishing and patrolling. It also equip them with the skills needed to become producers and sellers of FRP boats in the future.


Particularly, the participants were trained on construction, repair, and maintenance of FRP; resin infusion state; demolding, curing and cutting stage; and deck installation, sanding, polishing, and durability test. These were facilitated by BFAR agriculturist Mr. Hans Christian Del Rosario and biologist Mr. Gelby Yusay, under the supervision of Mr. Pierre Easter L. Velasco, the national focal person of DA-BFAR’s F/B PLDP and TK FRP focals, Mr. Raymund Villalon and Ms. Elena Derige. 


Mr. Velasco shared that “these new boats are dedicated to the beneficiaries and the future generations of fishermen.”


The training’s by-products, a 30- footer mould and 30-footer hull, are set to be turned over to MMSU and Ilocos Norte government.


Citing the indispensable role of extension services, MMSU President Shirley Agrupis said “we will continue to partner with various agencies to empower our fellow Ilokanos toward improved socio-economic life and sustainable development.”


Following the success of the training, TK, DA-BFAR and IEG MMSU agreed to conduct another training assistance for FRP fishing boat construction later this year. (HLY/JVBT,StratCom)