PHILIPPINES: The Philippine Department of Agriculture's Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) is ready to launch a 5-year national fisheries plan.
The implementation of the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP) 2016-2020 will be announced by the agency in February, during the first National Fisheries Industry Summit at the Philippine Trade Training Center in Pasay City, immediately after the national Bangus Congress.
The CNFIDP 2016-2020 is a product of a consensus-building via three-part series of fisheries stakeholders’ workshops in capture fisheries, aquaculture, post-harvest and, marketing subsectors.
Agriculture Undersecretary and BFAR national director Asis G. Perez said in a press release, “With a plan crafted by the stakeholders for the fisheries industry through participatory approach, we are very confident that we will be seeing a more improved and globally competitive Philippine fisheries in the next five years.”
He officer also stressed that he CNFIDP aims at promoting optimal development and long-term sustainability of benefits derived from fisheries and aquatic resources.
Adding to the all-inclusive fisheries industry plan, BFAR also got an increase in budget from last year’s PHP 6.3 billion to PHP 6.7 billion (USD 132,9 million to USD 141,3 million), which will be applied to fund tailor-fitted livelihood programs and projects for the fisheries sector.
On top of the priority projects for this year is the completion of more than 500 Community Fish Landing Centers (CFLCs) in strategic coastal communities to reduce fisheries post-harvest losses from 25 per cent to 18 per cent or even lower and to improve the socio-economic conditions of fisherfolk communities with high poverty incidence.
This year, BFAR will continue to provide targeted interventions through the National Program for Municipal Fisherfolk Registration (FishR) to fishermen with the aid of its enhanced registries.
Since its launching in 2013, the number of registered fishermen increased from 50,000 to over 1.6 millon.
A branch of the FishR program, the ongoing National Program for Municipal Fishing Vessels and Gears Registration (BoatR), which started from zero, has already registered over 138,000 municipal fishing vessels.
Both fisheries registries have been created for measurement and better management of the area.
In view of last year’s increase in the overall fisheries production by 1.80 per cent during the third quarter owing to the continued rise in tuna production, the BFAR aims to further achieve good performance both in fisheries production as well as in the management of the country’s aquatic resources.
To keep fighting against Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing, BFAR now has 240 fisheries law enforcers deployed in the country's major fishing grounds.