Solon seeks support for blue swimming crab fisherfolk

Solon seeks support for blue swimming crab fisherfolk

/ 10:42 AM December 27, 2023

A lawmaker has called on govermment agencies and stakeholders to support blue swimming crab fisherfolk amid habitat damage and overfishing. FILE PHOTO

BACOLOD CITY — A lawmaker has called on government agencies and stakeholders to support blue swimming crab fisherfolk amid habitat damage and overfishing.

Rep. Francisco “Kiko” Benitez of Negros Occidental’s third district said the Philippine blue swimming crabs are internationally recognized as unsustainably fished.


“Issues continue to exert significant pressure on our blue swimming crab population. Fishing mortality rates are too high and it is getting sufficiently alarming,” he said during the launch of the first regional congress of thePanay-Negros-Guimaras Crab Fishers Alliance (PANEG-CA) at the Negros Residences in Bacolod City on Dec. 18.


As one of the solutions, Benitez emphasized the need for hatcheries to replenish the population, the creation of reserved areas, and implementing closed seasons to give crabs time to grow.

“If we can do the three things the red flag on blue swimming craps can be removed,” he said.

Benitez lauded the unity of fisherfolk from Panay, Guimaras, and Negros, emphasizing the necessity to transcend political boundaries and adopt a whole-of-nation approach to ecosystem-based fisheries management.

He urged the fisherfolk to use the first regional congress as an opportunity to collaborate, balancing economic needs with ecological sustainability.

Benitez informed the participants of legislative initiatives Congress is working on to support fisherfolk, including a review of the Fisheries Code and the Integrated Coastal Area Management bill.

Benitez is author of the Blue Economy Bill, which seeks to mandate agencies to coordinate zoning for fishing grounds, transport, and other uses for the seas and oceans.


READ: Negros Occidental fishers get fiberglass boats, repair materials

“The world of nature does not abide by our political boundaries,” said Benitez.

“So, we need to coordinate our efforts so our policies are not fragmented,” he added.

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Benitez assured fisherfolk that he will continue to help them achieve democratic and sustainable fisheries.

TAGS: crab, fishers, solon, support

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