By Minerva Bc Newman
Cebu City – The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) here has networked all marine sanctuaries and protected areas (MPAs) to sustain fish catch and connectivity of marine conservation in the region.
According to Lorenz Gideon Esmero, the regional focal person of DENR-7 Coastal and Marine Ecosystem Management Program (CMEMP), they have already established and strengthened 17 networks in 2017 and are adding four more MPA networks this year.
Esmero told the Manila Bulletin that MPA networking is a biodiversity-friendly enterprise development and livelihood program for fishermen and people’s organizations in Cebu and Bohol.
As of May 2018, there are 19 LGUs in Central Visayas that have successfully networked their marine protected areas or fish sanctuaries.
Esmero said the Camotes Sea in Cebu, for example has networked its 11 MPAs.
Bohol has 8 towns with MPAs while Negros Oriental has four and Siquijor six.
According to Esmero, networking the various MPAs in Central Visayas is a strategy to protect and conserve fish biomass and fish connectivity of the various marine sanctuaries in those areas.
“Putting under one network management for all existing MPAs in a local government unit, for example will connect their various efforts to protect their marine resources from man-made and or natural damage to the coastal and marine ecosystems,” Esmero explained.
The program provides funds through the awarding of contracts to existing and proven fisherfolks organizations for the establishments of fish cage/grouper culture, floating rest house or cottages, boardwalk enhancement and snorkeling/diving shops, Esmero explained.