A fishers’ group told the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to focus on strengthening the country’s fisheries production in order to achieve food security.
Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), on Tuesday, Aug. 23, called on BFAR to focus on giving small-scale fishers the chance to have “exclusive rights” to fishing grounds.
“Maliban sa modernisasyon, kailangang tiyakin ang eksklusibong karapatan ng mga maliliit na mangingisda sa kanilang pangisdaan (Apart from modernization, it is necessary to ensure the exclusive rights of small fishermen in their fisheries),” said Pamalakaya Spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo in a press statement.
He then added that these modern equipment will neither bring change nor will it help Filipino fishermen if reclamation projects, such as those in Manila Bay, continue.
“Walang proteksyon ang mga mangingisda mula sa pamahalaan laban sa mga mapaminsalang proyekto tulad ng reklamasyon. Malaki ang epekto ng pagkawasak ng mga dagat at malawakang pagpapalayas sa mga mangingisda sa pang kabuuang produksyon ng isda sa bansa. Ito dapat ang unahing tingnan at harapin ng BFAR bago ang lahat (The government does not protect fishermen against harmful projects like reclamation. The destruction of the seas and mass eviction of fishermen have a great impact on the total production of fish in the country. This should be the first thing BFAR looks at and tackles before anything else),” Arambulo added.
BFAR previously stated that it will focus on “modernization and innovation” in the fishing sector in line with its goal of attaining food security in the Philippines.