Fish production improves but corals are dying – BFAR
Marje Pelayo • July 10, 2019 • 799
MANILA, Philippines – Data from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported improvements in fish production in the country as compared to the previous years.
In 2018, the country had 4.25 million metric tons of fish which was higher by one percent compared to 2017.
BFAR attributed this positive development to improvements in the country’s aquaculture which increased by three percent from the previous years when fish production was hugely affected by weather disturbances, illegal fishing, water pollution, and stricter implementation of the Fisheries Law.
The disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea contributes 2.34 percent of the country’s total production from provinces in Regions 1, 3, 4A and 4B.
Meanwhile, almost half of the production is contributed by Regions 9, 12 and the Bangsamoro Region, according to BFAR.
Despite this, the Bureau noted that from the 27 thousand hectares of coral areas in the country, only one percent are in good condition.
The agency added that the Philippine government loses P68.5-B every year because of illegal fishing.
Climate change also adds damage to the corals in a phenomenon called coral bleaching.
Sadly, according to BFAR, this phenomenon is expected to persist.
“We will see more coral bleaching. Ibig sabihin yung pagkakamatay ng mga corals dahil tumaas halimbawa yung water temperature o mas na-expose sila ngayon sa sun, (It means the corals are dying because of increasing water temperature as they are more exposed to the heat of the sun),” explained Sammy Malvas, BFAR’s assistant director for admin services.
Likewise, the agency noted that even the size of fish is now affected.
“Example na lang iyong sardines, maliliit pa naging mature na, (Example sardines, they easily mature but their size remains small), Malvas added.
Doctor Deo Florence Onda of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said that the West Philippine Sea should all the more be protected because it has a vital role in the region considering that it is the center of biodiversity in the world.
“Isa lang indikasyon noon, kung maraming pumupuntang fishermen doon sa West Philippine Sea, ibig sabihin marami silang napapakinabangan at marami silang nakukuha, (It indicates one thing: More fishermen fish in West Philippines Sea because it is rich in resources and has a lot of fish), Onda said. – with reports from Rey Pelayo
The Department of National Defense (DND) on Sunday (November 3) downplayed reports in certain news outlets that a commercial vessel with Filipino crew aboard, the “Green Aura”, was repeatedly challenged by Chinese Coast Guard vessels near Bajo de Masinloc on September 30, 2019.
In a statement, the DND said, “Since the Green Aura, a Liberian ship, was able to safely reach its intended port of destination unimpeded, we believe that what happened should not be blown out of proportion or sensationalized.”
The defense department further said that an official report of the incident has been forwarded to the National Task Force on the West Philippine Sea (NTF-WPS) for its appropriate action.
The DND has also reiterated its call “for all countries to exercise prudence and respect freedom of navigation and passage in the WPS.”
It stressed that Bajo de Masinloc is well within the Philippine EEZ and that the 2016 arbitral ruling declared it as a common fishing area.
The DND also called on the Chinese government to “respect international maritime laws if it wants to earn the respect of the international community.” (with details from Lea Ylagan) /mbmf
MANILA, Philippines – Tubs of dead fish were collected along the coastal vicinity of Las Piñas and Parañaque, specifically in the ecotourism area of Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).
Upon reports of the fish kill on Thursday morning (October 10), the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) immediately dispatched a team of fisheries protection and law enforcement group along with technical personnel to collect water samples and investigate the cause of the fish kill.
Following the incident, the DA-BFAR in a statement advised the public not to consume dead fishes collected from the affected area pending the results of the investigation.
The agency is now working closely with the local government unit regarding the proper disposal of the dead fish. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)
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