Message to the fisherfolk
THE Department of Agriculture and the United States Agency for International Development have funded a project called the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (Ecofish) headed by Geronimo T. Silvestre.The Ecofish aims to address the problems in marine ecosystem degradation, fish stock depletion and poverty in small-scale fisheries sector in the Philippines. They have eight sites in the country from Lingayen Gulf to Tawi-Tawi.
In an interview with Silvestre, he said Ecofish has also been helping fishermen on proper fishing methods through seminars and workshops. Also, they give them alternative means of livelihood.
He said good governance from the top down to the municipalities should be observed. He added that the national system is strong because of the existence of laws but the problem is the implementation.
He cited concerns on funding from the national level, which takes time to reach the local level, and at small amounts.
Silvestre said the fishermen should have a better understanding and management of fish capture and harvest, give limits and implement these limits.
Also, he encourages them to go into aquaculture like planting seeweeds, plankton-eaters like bangus and limit aquaculture to high-value species.