Fish bred in cages benefit little-known highland town
Fish farming at Tavera dam. File.
Hatillo.- As many as 64 fishermen and their families benefit from breeding fish in floating cages, a project launched in 2013 by the miner Barrick Pueblo Viejo in the town of Hatillo, in the highlands in central Sánchez Ramírez province.
But the project that began in 2002 was devastated by tropical storms Noel and Olga in 2007, as the winds and waves destroyed and sank the cages.
Since 2013 the Hatillo Fishermen Union, which groups local fishermen, request Barrick Gold’s support to obtain part of the equipment used to assemble the cages. Barrick donated RD$1.0 million to start assembling 20 cages, at a cost of RD$ 50,000 each.
The financing, added to a RD$8.0 million loan from the Specialized Agricultural Development Fund (FEDA), allowed the fishermen to continue the project, also benefiting other nearby associations.
The cages produce safe, high quality fish which guarantee not only income for the fishermen, but also for fishmongers in neighboring communities, according to a statement by Barrick, quoted by listin.com.do.
Hatillo Fishermen Association president Andrés Leonardo Romero said the project counts with 60,000 tilapias so far, adding that the sales of around 1,200 pounds, at RD$75 per pound have benefited the local population.