FISH CONSERVATION WEEK
THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Central Visayas (BFAR-7) has intensified its awareness campaign on the protection of aquatic resources.
During the celebration of the 54th Fish Conservation Week from October 16 to 20, BFAR-7 Director Allan Poquita urged the fishermen to help protect and conserve marine lives.
“Kinahangalan ta nga magkonserbar sa atong aquatic resources para ang mga tawo makahibaw kon unsa kini ka importante for our well-being (We need to conserve our aquatic resources so people will know how important these are for our well-being),” he said.
Poquita also emphasized the Republic Act 10654, which is “an act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.”
“The conservation effort of the government is protecting the main source of food and livelihood,” Poquita said.
Under the law, commercial fishing vessels are also required to have a monitoring device.
“With the electronic device, we will be able to track down the vessel that violates environmental laws protecting our ocean,” Gloria Ramos, vice president of Oceana Philippines, said in Cebuano.
Ramos said she also supported the Vessel Monitoring Measure (VMM), a science-based management that will be implemented by BFAR to monitor fishing activities and track vessels. “We look into science to put in place a more sustainable way of managing our ocean,” she said.
Oceana has already pilot-tested vessels and conducted public consultations, she added.
Ramos revealed that they have already pilot-tested the VMM in 20 of 204 registered commercial fishing vessels in the region, including one in San Remigio, northern Cebu and the result was good.
“They are very happy that they can now track their vessel,” she said.
Ramos also pointed out the importance of the device especially during a stormy weather.
“It is a life-saving measure because if there is a storm it is difficult to track them,” she said.
She said the country is rich in water resources that need protection and conservation.
“Atong i-fight nga mobalik ang abunda sa atong kadagatan (We will fight for the restoration of the abundance of marine resources),” she said.
BFAR, in collaboration with Oceana Philippines, also launched its Cebuano primer of the Amended Fisheries Code, which has 3,000 copies.