By Madelaine B. Miraflor
The Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), has forged a deal on fisheries development with the National Fisheries Authority (NFA) of the Independent State of Papua New Guinea.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Fisheries Cooperation, which was signed by Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol and Minister for Fisheries and Marine Resources Patrick Basa, was a follow through of the first MOU signed by Philippines and Papua New Guinea in 2009, which provides mutual cooperation, consultation, and exchange of technical assistance in fisheries research and development.
The recent MOU identifies several areas of cooperation, which include the promotion of fishing ventures in both countries’ waters, post-harvest and fish processing development, training and technology transfer, and joint research activities, among others.
To ensure the implementation of the MOU, a Joint Committee on Fisheries Cooperation (JCFC) composed of representatives from both countries and the Implementing Arrangements are being reviewed and vetted.
The MOU shall remain in force for a period of five years and shall be reviewed for renewal thereafter.
In January, Philippines also forged a five-year rice deal with the government of Papua New Guinea. Under this deal, both parties are expected to promote mutual consultation, exchange of technical assistance, and joint research and development activities on the rice sector in particular.
There are now efforts as part of the Philippine government to intensify fish conservation in the country. Last week, BFAR issued Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 263, which seeks to declare the major fishing grounds in the country as fisheries management areas (FMA).
The order aims to establish 12 FMAs and seeks to provide a science-based and participatory governance framework for the management of these FMAs.
On Friday, Oceana Philippines, the largest international organization focused on restoring the world’s oceans, has called for the proper implementation of the law.