True spirit of Christmas is being mindful of how we impact Earth, ocean — Oceana
MANILA, Philippines — A marine conservation group stressed the importance of taking care of the planet, particularly the ocean, amid the Christmas season, as it recognized the struggles and sacrifices of artisanal fisherfolk in 2022.
“The true spirit of the Christmas season is best felt through acts of kindness, including being mindful of how our actions impact our planet, especially the ocean,” said Oceana in a statement in celebration of Christmas.
“More than the feasts and gifts that abound this time of year, let us also show our gratitude to our natural life support system including the marine ecosystems and the individuals and communities who foster these resources to ensure our food and livelihood,” it added.
Oceana pointed out that in 2022, artisanal fisherfolk across the country faced several challenges as the government failed to quell the intrusion of commercial fishing in municipal waters.
According to Oceana, the government also failed to stop the devastation caused by widespread dumping and filling of our coastal and marine resources to pave the way for projects that the people are rejecting, pervasive plastic pollution, and the delayed integration of science-based sustainable fisheries management.
“Amid these challenges, our artisanal fisherfolk and their families are at the receiving end of the disaster caused by these destructive activities, aggravated by the worsening impact of the climate crisis,” said Oceana.
It added that because of this, artisanal fisherfolk are one of the most food-insecure sectors in our country.
The said conservation group then vowed to continue to fight in solidarity with fisherfolk against illegal fishing and unabated habitat destruction, overfishing, and plastic pollution, among others.
It said that it will continue pushing for cohesive actions from the government to restore the ocean’s abundance and uplift the lives and well-being of fisherfolk, women, children, and our coastal communities.
Oceana in the same statement then called on the government to ensure that beginning in 2023, the government should stand up for Filipinos, particularly the poor, the marginalized, the young, and the future generation.
It also called on the public to hold the government accountable and compel officials to perform their mandates and duties under the law.
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