2024 wishlist: Improved marine conservation, milestones in PH | Inquirer News

2024 wishlist: Improved marine conservation, milestones in PH

By: - Content Researcher Writer / @inquirerdotnet
/ 02:51 PM January 01, 2024

2024 wishlist: Improved marine conservation, milestones in PH


MANILA, Philippines—After facing challenges and achieving milestones in 2023, an environment group looks forward to 2024 with optimism, aiming to help restore and rehabilitate fisheries and marine habitats and ultimately improving the wellbeing, dignity, and livelihood of Philippine coastal communities.

Oceana, an international organization dedicated to ocean protection and conservation, said despite having laws that protect human and environmental rights, the Philippines is still seeing a dismal fisheries situation because of overfishing, illegal fishing, habitat destruction and climate change.


“It is the height of irony that the coastal communities are the most food and nutritionally insecure sector, especially the young children and lactating mothers and pregnant women,” said lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines.



However, Ramos clarified that there is still a “reason to be optimistic,” citing habitat protection and fisheries management reforms passed in 2023.

“A solid foundation and strong partnership have been forged among stakeholders to ensure that the reforms to make fisheries management sustainable and natural life support systems resilient are strengthened,” Ramos said.

READ: Oceana cites reforms in habitat protection, fisheries management

As 2024 begins, the organization expressed hope that its vision would translate into tangible actions to benefit the planet and people, especially those who are in most need.

A decade of advocacy work

“As the largest international organization focused exclusively on restoring the world’s oceans, Oceana looks at 2024 as especially significant,” Ramos said in a statement.

Ramos recalled that in 2014, the European Union, one of the Philippines’ largest market for fish and fish products, issued a yellow card warning due to a belief that the Philippine government was insufficiently addressing IUU fishing.


In response, Congress promptly reformed the outdated Fisheries Code, resulting in the enactment of Republic Act (RA) No. 10654 in February 2015.

READ: Stronger penalties eyed to stop illegal fishing

Oceana established its Philippine office in November 2014 and organized a two-day workshop which attracted 100 participants from various sectors.

Ramos said Daniel Pauly, Oceana board member and fisheries scientist, was keynote speaker at the workshop and presented data showing fish catch is “declining much faster than what FAO data suggest.”


Citing Pauly, Ramos said in the Philippines, “much of the data from small-scale fishing is not included in estimating fish catch.”

Asis Peres, former BFAR director, was also at the workshop to discuss government actions being taken on fisheries concerns.

These included a proposal to increase penalties for offenders, which is now in Congress, and strategies to enforce these measures strictly.

“Looking back, we proved our capacity to respond to the looming crisis with focus and determination,” Ramos said.

“Reforms are slowly but surely in place,” she said.

“But the test is in the collective action to make the law an effective tool for changing behaviors, and replace arbitrariness with science as basis for decision-making, to save our ocean and feed our people,” Ramos added.

She cited RA 10654, which she said promoted transparency and “evidence-based management.” The law, she added, “will help rebuild our fisheries.”

2024 wishlist

For 2024, Oceana presented a wishlist of objectives and targets they want to be achieved:

  • Science-based and inclusive Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) System to be strengthened with budgetary support for each of the 12 FMAs.
  • No one is left behind.
  • More spirited involvement of citizens in decision-making at all levels .
  • For the business sector to make environmental protection as a core value in operations.
  • For our small-scale fisherfolk and youth to believe that a sustainable future is in their hands.

“It is time likewise to sanction irresponsible behaviors that have plundered and destroyed our seas for so long – at the expense of the right to a healthy, safe, and resilient environment for all,” Ramos said.


Oceana: Restore fisheries abundance to fight hunger, poverty in PH

House OKs bill declaring Panaon Island a protected area

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

Oceana lauds single-use plastic ban in Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park

TAGS: 2024, Bandera, environment, fisherfolk, Fisheries, INQFocus, oceana, Oceana Philippines

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.