Agri Dept. to craft 10-year fisheries roadmap
The Department of Agriculture (DA) is set to convene next month the country’s fisheries and aqua industry players to draw a 10-year development plan which will set the sector’s priorities for progress.
“The Road Map which I proposed yesterday during the opening ceremonies of the 19th Tuna Festival in General Santos City will identify the problems and challenges in the fisheries industry and the government interventions needed to address these,’ Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol said on Thursday.
Piñol lamented the country’s need to import fisheries and aquatic products to fill the needs of the local market — this, despite the Philippines ranks first among the countries with the longest coastal lines.
Among the biggest problems expected to be addressed via the creation of the road map is the depletion of freshwater fish sources due to overfishing and destructive fishing practices and the country’s estimated P3 trillion annual losses to illegal fishing including poaching by foreign and more modern fishing fleets.
“When the 10-Year Fisheries and Aqua-Marine Road Map is completed, this will be submitted to President Rody Duterte just like what we did with the Road Maps for other commodities like Coffee, Cacao, Mango, Abaca and others,” Piñol added.