Fishers group says reclamation projects will deplete fish stocks
MANILA, Philippines — An organization of fisherfolks on Friday said that massive reclamation projects nationwide would lead to the depletion of fish stocks as it destroys mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs.
According to the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), the country has 187 reclamation projects covering 25,000 hectares of fishing waters. Manila Bay alone has at least 30 such projects.
“Kung magkakaroon man ng shortage ng isda, ito ay dahil sa malawakang reklamasyon na nagaganap sa ating mga mayor na pangisdaan. Bukod sa sinisira ng reklamasyon ang mga bakawan (mangroves), sea grasses, at bahura (coral reefs) na tirahan ng mga isda, nagdudulot ito ng malawakang disempleyo sa hanay ng mga mangingisdang pwersahang pinapalayas sa kanilang komunidad para sa mga nasabing proyekto,” said Pamalakaya Chair Ronnel Arambulo.
(The vast reclamation efforts in important fishing locations may be to blame for the current fish shortage. When towns are razed to make way for reclamation operations, they not only kill off fish habitats like mangroves, sea grasses, and coral reefs but also displace and disenfranchise the fishers who lived there.).
Pamalakaya also addressed the current administration’s plan to import round scad, known locally as galunggong, and other fishes. However, the group stressed there would be no import need if there were no reclamation projects.
“Kung talagang gustong resolbahin ng administrasyong Marcos Jr. ang pagbagsak ng supply sa isda ng bansa, dapat nitong ipatigil ang lahat ng anyo ng mapanirang proyekto sa karagatan tulad ng reklamasyon,” Arambulo stated.
(If the administration of President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. wants to resolve the shortage of fish supplies in the country, it should stop all forms of destructive projects like reclamation).
According to the Department of Agriculture, on Thursday, November 17, 25,00 metric tons of fish will be imported in anticipation of the closed domestic fishing season from November to December.
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