BY KAREN V. BERMEJO
To promote Iloilo as a tourist destination for anglers and to create awareness on the need to preserve marine habitat and terrestrials, the first International Pamunit Festival is slated on May 18 to 19, 2013 at the municipality of Oton.
Manuel San Agustin, president of the Pamunit Festival Association and Go Fish Anglers Club said the two-day fishing competition will gather local and international anglers.
He said that currently, groups from Bacolod, Cebu and Manila as well as from Europe, Asia and the United States of America have already signified to join the fishing tournament.
San Agustin noted that marine life has been deteriorating and the abundant fishes are fast disappearing because of overfishing, use of fine nets with small eyelets that catch small fishes, and a lot of other forms of illegal fishing.
“In the U.S. alone, sport fishing is one of the money making businesses. It is but ideal if we too can bring such an opportunity to Iloilo and later spread this to the whole country as well,” he said.
As one of the organizers, the Department of Tourism has allocated more than P200,000 for the prizes for those who will catch the biggest fishes and the most number of fishes in both bottom fishing and trolling categories.
For those who are willing to join, registration is until April 30, 2013. The registration is P500 per person.
The proceeds of the activity will be used for the construction of artificial reefs and creation of marine sanctuaries for fish protection and marine conservation in Oton.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the local government of Oton are also part of the organizers.*