BFAR commits to expanding fisheries sector for economic growth

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Monday, Sept. 18, said it seeks to further expand the nation's fisheries sector to continue promoting economic growth.

“Together with allied government agencies, fisher folk and fish farmers, and other key stakeholders in the industry, the Bureau remains steadfast and committed to our campaign and programs for the protection, conservation, and management of our fisheries and aquatic resources. Achieving food sustainability in fisheries is a continuous and never-ending process,” said BFAR director Demosthenes Escoto.

Escoto said this year’s commemoration, featuring the theme "Masaganang Pangisdaan, Maunlad na Ekonomiya," is centered on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.'s advocacy for the preservation and protection of the nation's natural resources to attain food safety.

The BFAR director also outlined activities meant to boost the sector's efficiency.

One of these is the Bantay-Dagat Insurance Program intended to give vital medical aid and death benefits to eligible City and Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (C/MFARMC) law enforcement officials.

The BFAR launched the program in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to reward the service of Bantay Dagat in protecting coastal communities from illegal fishing practices.

It also launched FishRecipes: Lutuing Isda ng mga Mangingisda, a public awareness campaign aimed at promoting fish recipes made by fish farmers, fisherfolk, and cooperatives around the country.

BFAR employees dressed in aquatic creatures and seafood costumes competed in dance and culinary events during Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month.

Escoto said the celebration of the 60th Fish Conservation Week would culminate with the launch of the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project at the Philippine International Convention Center in Pasay City on Friday.

FishCoRe is a seven-year project aimed at improving fisheries resource management in Fisheries Management Areas 6 and 9, which span 11 regions and 24 provinces.

Throughout the celebration, several activities will be held to engage the public in the discussions regarding fisheries preservation and ethical aquatic resource management. (Trixee Rosel)