The Sindangan Fisherfolk Federation (SFF), the beneficiary fisherfolk group of BFAR’s Purse Seine Fishing Vessel Project successfully conducted a sea trial of the FB DA-BFAR 2104 recently at Sindangan Bay where the boat and the crew passed their initial test satisfactorily. A sea trial is a crucial step in ensuring the safety and reliability of the commercial fishing boat and its crew at sea. During the sea trial at Sindangan, the crew exercised purse seine operation maneuvers. This is the actual deployment of the purse seine net that initially includes the location of target fish, positioning of the fishing vessel and the support boats locally called “ayuda”, deployment of the net, and closing and retrieval of the net. While waiting for the formal turnover of the fishing vessel, SFF plans to hone its purse seine operation skills in Sindangan Bay.

Based on the initial observation of the BFAR CO and PFO-ZDN team, there are still a lot of aspects that can be improved. The crew, although new to each other and new to the boat as well, must meld and work perfectly like a well-oiled machine, not only to be efficient but to be safe as well. The only way to learn and master purse seine fishing vessel operation skills is to be aboard and work as one. The said activity was closely observed and documented by personnel from DA-BFAR-IX PFO-ZDN headed by Provincial Fishery Officer Arcelita A. Andaya and staff, personnel from BFAR-CO, and LGU-Sindangan. At the moment, DA-BFAR-IX, through the leadership of Regional Director Al-Zath K. Kunting in coordination with LGU-Sindangan is expediting the process of turnover of the said project to the SFF.