Payao is a fish aggregating device that enhances small fisherman’s catch at sea and reduces their fishing venture expenses as well.
Previously, fisherman has to scour the fishing ground for long hours and going farther away from the shore before they can catch anything.
With the payao installation in a predetermined location of their fishing area, they can spend less fuel in their fishing expedition.
Aside from shortening the time of fishing to 4 hours and they can be able to catch from 20 to 50 kilos of fish for each installed payao.
The installation of payao in some coastal areas in the Philippines, is not only a livelihood assistance being distributed but is also one of the measures implemented by Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to mitigate the ill effects of El niño.
Basically, payao has three functional parts, the floating platform, the anchorage part of it and the attractant section or habong in the local dialect.
The attractant is usually composed of coconut fronds that hang from a rope connected to the floater. The floater or the floating platform itself is usually made up of a hollow metal or plastic drums or a bamboo raft.
This is secured by a cable line attached to an anchor weight made of concrete. Payaos can be set both in shallow water and deep sea areas.
According to Aquaculturist Venchito Villarao, marine fisheries expert of BFAR, payao works by taking advantage of the behavior of fish desiring to be closed to floating solid objects.
The payao serves as a localized food chain or food web. The algae or “lumut” that grows on the habong or the attractant section, attracts small fishes and the small fishes on the other hand will attract bigger fishes.