Former struggling fisherman now Masbate’s Crab KingPosted on April 6th, 2010 under Art & Living Achievements
Arturo Marcaida Jr.
A former fisherman in Masbate has been praised for improving the lives of his townmates and generating more employment.
Due to the determination of Arturo Marcaida Jr. of Cawayan Masbate, who started as a small-time fisherfolk, he now owns and runs the multi-million peso AMJ/Morning Joy Enterprise.
The business is engaged in crab meat processing and helps other small fishermen in the province, have a steady source of income through fish/crab capture and provides gainful employment to over 200 and 50 indirect workers in his crab meat processing plant.
Marcaida reigns supreme as the most successful fisherman who made it big in fish culture and fish processing business not only in Masbate but in the entire Bicol which earned for him the title “Crab King.
The Asid Gulf used to be his sea of dreams as he used to go fishing with the other fisherfolks in their village, Malbug, Cawayan Masbate where he (Marcaida) spent most of his childhood and teenage years.
But his parents’ dream was for him to finish a course in college so he took and completed a business course from the Philippine School of Business Administration in Manila.
Upon Marcaida’s return in his hometown, he got employed at the Philips Seafooods Corporation, an American company engaged in crab meat processing, with a processing plant in Peña island, a 15-minute boat ride from Malbug.
He learned the rudiments of the business as various jobs was assigned to him as sorter, checker, in charge of procurement and marketing and finally as manager.
In 1994 the plant has to close down due to management crisis in its base office in Bantayan Island, Cebu City.
Using the separation pay he got from Philips Seafood he bought three fishing boats and ventured into his fish/crab capture business. Mid of 1995 the plant resumed its operation under the leadership of Mr. Marcaida.
With full trust and confidence of the corporation president, Mr. Jack Robert Bourdon, the plant, through a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA), was endorsed to Marcaida on August 1, 1996 as part-owner.
He was given full authority to take over the P1.5 worth processing plant and was given P350,000 for operational expenses.
Marcaida’s only obligation is to supply crab meat to Banica, Roxas City where the new main office was established and whatever deliveries will be bought by the company.
To ensure a steady supply of crab meat, Mr. Marcaida thus bought 14 more boats and established buying and cooking stations in islands of Peña, Guinlongan, Hilotongan, and Naro and Barangay Salvador of Cawayan, Masbate, including Guinlothangan Island, Barangays Punta-Tigbao and sitios Narangasa and Hagmang in Milagros, Masbate.
Today, he has a total of 17 fishing boats and five reserved body boats which he makes available to fishermen, including the fishing nets on a 50:50 scheme that is, half of the catch goes to the fisherman and half goes to him.
For this, he earns about P108,537.00 a month and provides livelihood and income to some 17 fishermen and their families.
What is notable is that Mr. Marcaida himself is leading other fishermen in harvesting the rich resources of the sea but at the same time ensuring that these resources are properly taken cared of to make sure that this source of their livelihood will be sustainable.
Aware that the sustainability of his livelihood and business enterprise hinge on the efficient and judicious utilization of the marine resources and proper care of their habitat, Mr. Marcaida strongly advocates the use of non-destructive fishing method and the protection of mangrove. He sets an example by not using fine mesh or beach seine which can haul even small fishes.
An active president of Peña Fisherfolks Association (PEFA), he and his fellow fishermen in their village regularly patrol the sea to thwart any illegal fishing activity, having attended trainings on environmental management such as Hazard Analysis Critical Control point and Environment Impact assessment,
Mr. Marcaida oriented his fellow fishermen not to catch sponge crab or those about to spawn and other endangered marine species.
If ever these are accidentally caught they are returned to the sea or are placed in a specially made crab hatchery.
His efforts are paying off because Asid Gulf is one of the few remaining sea waters which has not been over exploited and whose production capacity has not been greatly depleted.
Over the years Marcaida has mastered the peculiarities of the sea and the fish/crab behavior in relation to the water temperature, wind direction, lunar or tidal cycles.
Marcaida and his group of fishermen have adopted catch location testing — where they can determine what time and where fishes usually gather. They know when to drop their nets and when to haul them.
He had also instilled among his fellow fishermen that fish capture should be a team effort and that the bounty of the sea should be generously shared if one group of fishermen chances upon a school of fish they would signal to the other fishermen to join them..
The bulk of his income come from the processed crab meat which he supplies to the Philipp Seafoods Corporation. He earns about P200,000 a month. But more than this, he provides employment to some 200 people.
Likewise he derives his income of about P125,000 from the sale of dried crab shells which otherwise would have gone to waste. He delivers these shells to an Iranian company based in the Visayas.
(Details of story from Mike de la Rama of PNA)