BFAR, USAID eye sustainable fisheries in PH; launch P1.3-B ‘Fish Right’ project
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the United States government have recently launched a P1.3-billion sustainable fisheries project in the country.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila said Fish Right, a five-year U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) project, aims to address biodiversity threats, improve the marine ecosystem governance, and increase the number and weight of fish in the Calamian Islands or Calamianes in Palawan, Visayan Seas, and South Negros.
Fish Right was launched Tuesday, November 20, in Iloilo City.
According to the U.S. embassy, the project is expected to benefit two million “who depend on these resources for food and income.”
Department of Agriculture Undersecretary and BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona reiterated the country’s commitment to marine protection and sustainable fisheries.
“BFAR is pleased to continue its partnership with USAID through the Fish Right Program. We are at the forefront of the country’s fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which to this day continues to imperil marine and aquatic resources and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk,” Gongona said.
The BFAR noted that around 60 percent of Filipinos live in coastal zones and depend on coastal resources for their livelihoods.
However, these resources “are threatened by illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.”
Based on BFAR estimates, the country loses nearly P68.5 billion pesos annually due to destructive fishing practices.
Meanwhile, U.S. Embassy in the Philippines Deputy Chief of Mission John Law assured their government will “continue to work together to advance human and ecological well-being in the Philippines and to support initiatives that enhance sustainable resource use and conserve biodiversity.” /kga
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