No to fishing ban, yes to ban on damaging coastal activities - Pamalakaya | Inquirer News

No to fishing ban, yes to ban on damaging coastal activities – Pamalakaya

By: - Reporter / @luisacabatoINQ
/ 02:37 PM September 20, 2023

In this photo taken last month, a porter unloads a large yellowfin tuna from a fishing vessel at the port of General Santos City, a major trading hub of tuna in Mindanao.


MANILA, Philippines — Instead of imposing a fishing ban and other restrictions, a militant fisherfolk group on Wednesday urged the government to ban destructive activities in coastal areas to boost the country’s aquaculture sector.

The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) issued the appeal in response to President Ferdinand “Bongbong” Marcos Jr.’s proposal to ban fishing activities and impose other measures in certain areas to combat overfishing.


Pamalakaya, however, asserted that such regulations would not solve the root cause of the degradation of marine and fishery resources.


It cited reclamation, conversion, and large-scale poaching activities as some of the culprits.

Moreover, the group feared that the measures “might only target sustainable small-scale fishing activities.”

“Small fishers, and even those who are only engaged in subsistence fishing, are often the usual targets of conservation measures and restrictions,” Pamalakaya national chairperson Fernando Hicap said.

He also mentioned that in many fishing areas, fishermen “always fall prey” to strict regulations that come with penalties, including, but not limited to, a P2,500 to P5,000 fine, confiscation of catch and fishing gear, and even cases of illegal and unauthorized fishing.

“Commercial fishing vessels, on the other hand, are allowed to conduct their unregulated fishing expeditions anywhere, even within the municipal fishing grounds intended for small fishers, because of some provisions in the existing fisheries law,” he said.

Hicap was referring to the seven-fathom rule of Republic Act 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, which allows commercial fishing in municipal waters only if the depth reaches seven fathoms (about 42 feet) or more.



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TAGS: Bongbong Marcos Jr., Fishing, fishing ban, Pamalakaya

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