The Booming Fishing and Farming Industry
Now, what about the livelihood in the island?
The islands of Bantayan, being given the protected status of a “Wilderness Area” by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR), focused its commerce and trade on the preservation and cultivation of the marine life and agricultural products. There is no questioning that the island is a well-known tourist destination for its resorts and white sand beaches, but most people don’t know that the group of islands is actually a huge fishing and farming community as well.
Everyday, the islands of Bantayan produce tons and tons of the freshest fish and seafood in the country. In fact, it is one of the leading producers of danggit, the most famous kind of dried fish, as well as fresh crabs in the country.
Aside from fishing and other marine industry, Bantayan is also into the poultry industry which used to be found only at the backyards of its residents. Today, poultry farms have become very abundant that the Bantayan Group of Islands is now called the “Egg Basket” of Cebu with hundreds of thousands of eggs being exported to different parts of the country everyday. Other industries that provide income and employment to the Bantayanons are copra making and tuba gathering. Just recently also, the local government and NGOs made an effort to start a candle making industry; while a few women of the island are being trained to make bags out of recycled materials. All these and more prove that the Bantayanons are well cultivators of their land and its natural resources, and they alone can prosper in their nature-friendly industries.
Editor’s Note: More about Bantayan Island in the next page.