The 53rd Fish Conservation Week this year calls for the need to clean and make our ocean pollution free, says Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional director Visa Tan-Dimerin.
In Talakayan sa PIA on 20 October 2016, she explained that the annual celebration is to give importance for the need to conserve for sustainable development so that we will always have fish in the ocean.
Dimerin said that the focus now is the clean-up activity in coastal areas such as coastal clean-up, scubasurero, and IEC with coastal communities on waste disposal.
Meanwhile, Asuncion J. Maputol, chief, Fisheries Management Regulatory Enforcement Division said that they have been conducting an IEC on RA 10654, an act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, amending Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as “the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998” and its Implementing Rules and Regulations.
She said that penalty is bigger this time from simply two boxes of fish to P200,000 to P500,000 depending on the gravity of the offense. They have recently signed a MOA on Regional Task Force Against Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported Fishing where commercial fishing boats are monitored and penalized once caught fishing in restricted waters.
In terms of fish supply, Dimerin said that there are factors for it to be substantial. Since time immemorial, region 10 has never had surplus on fish production because of population and fast growing urban areas, said Dimerin. That is why it is just ok to see fish carriers from other regions. This way, price will be balanced.
Right now, she said we are slowly growing our aquaculture such as fish cages, mariculture park, seaweeds, fish pen in inland waters.
Somehow, we have increment of aquaculture in seawaters, she said.
Aside from that, she said that we could not really determine where these fish catch come from because the counting of BFAR is based on fish landings. There are commercial fishing boats that fish in Cebu and other parts of the country but land here in Cagayan de Oro or region 10.
Currently, BFAR also conducts research such as monitoring stock assessment program and now introduces shell gardening project in Lanao del Norte and Misamis Occidental. (JMOR/PIA10)