FISHER BRIDGE IMPROVEMENT BOOSTS EFFICIENCY OF MARICULTURE ACTIVITIES IN MERIDA. The Department of Public Works and Highways (DPWH) – Leyte 4th District Engineering Office (DEO) has completed the Improvement of Fisher Bridge to Merida Mariculture Park in Brgy. Casilda, Merida, Leyte amounting to Php 4,949,998.54 under the General Appropriations Act (GAA) 2022.

Mariculture, or the cultivation of fish and other marine organisms, is essential to the coastal communities of Leyte 4th District as it provides a source of livelihood, enhances food security, and promotes sustainability.

According to Jovita D. Conales, manager of the Benabaye Primary Multipurpose Cooperative (BENAPRIMCO), local fishermen in Merida had struggled to navigate through knee-deep mud and avoid barnacles that could cause injury when transporting feeds and equipment into the sea. This pushed them to build a bamboo bridge, which ultimately proved to be prone to damage, especially during typhoons, thus, making the maintenance costly.

With the completion of the 100-meter long and 1.60-meter wide elevated concrete bridge, the issues have been resolved. The fisher bridge is now safer and more durable as it can withstand harsh winds and waves, providing a reliable connection between land and the mariculture area. Furthermore, this project has significantly enhanced the accessibility and efficiency of mariculture activities in Merida, boosting the livelihood of the community. (PR / EV Mail March 27-April 2, 2023 issue)