LGU chiefs vow to protect Visayan Sea from illegal fishers, overfishing
Five provincial governors recently signed a covenant to adopt a fisheries management framework to protect the Visayan Sea, one of the country’s major fishing grounds, from illegal fishing activities, and ensure the livelihood of millions of small fishers and their families.
During the 10th Visayan Sea Governor Summit held at Sheridan Resort in Oton, Iloilo, Host Governor Arthur Defensor and Governors Alfredo G. Marañon of Negros Occidental, Antonio A. del Rosario of Capiz, Antonio T. Kho of Masbate, and Hilario P. Davide III of Cebu signed the “Commitment to Adopt and Implement the Management Framework for the Conservation, Protection, and Restoration of the Visayan Sea Fisheries Management Area” .
“The fisheries management framework for the Visayan Sea complies with the major provisions of the Fisheries Code, which mandates local governments to implement management measures in municipal waters,” said environmental lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines.
She said the covenant also fulfills the spirit of a recent memorandum circular issued by the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) entitled “Policies and Guidelines on the Regulation and Monitoring of Fishery Activities in Municipal Waters” signed by DILG Secretary Eduardo Año on April 23, 2018.
As of now, the Visayan Sea provides food and livelihood to 100,000 municipal fisherfolk and about one million ruralfolk in 33 municipalities in the five provinces of Iloilo, Negros Occidental, Cebu, Masbate, and Capiz.