PAJ to tackle coastal, marine resources issues
The Philippine Agricultural Journalists, Inc. (PAJ) is set to discuss how the government through the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), civil society and local government units will effectively protect and sustainably manage the country’s coastal and marine resources.
PAJ president Roman Floresca said the forum panelists include DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona, Oceana Philippines vice president Gloria Estenzo Ramos and Calatagan, Batangas Mayor Peter Oliver Palacio, the 2016 national winner of the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan coastal resource management contest.
They will discuss respective initiatives to stop illegal fishing methods such as dynamite and cyanide fishing, illegal dumping of solid and water wastes, mangrove destruction, and illegal coastal reclamation projects that adversely impact on the livelihood and source of food of millions of fishers and their families.
To restore the productivity of the country’s major fishing grounds, the DA-BFAR imposes a three-month ‘closed fishing season.’
“Closed season is part of the government’s effort to allow the recovery of fish population from overexploitation,” said Gongona.
According to Oceana Philippine, 75 percent of the country’s fishing grounds are currently overfished. Fishers now tend to bring home fewer fish.
The Philippines ranks tenth among the top 15 fishing nations worldwide. The leading fishing countries are China, Indonesia, United States, India, Russian Federation, Myanmar, Japan, Peru and Vietnam.
Previous PAJ Usapang Sakahan have discussed issues on bird flu aftermath, climate change, rice industry and coconut levy by concerned government officials, scientists, industry experts, and civil society leaders.