The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has collaborated with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) in the fight against illegal fishing in Central Luzon.
According to BFAR 3 (Central Luzon) Director Wilfredo Cruz, the USAID, through its Fish Right Program, engaged selected fisher folk in the region in listening sessions this week to help them understand the impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.
Illegal fishing, according to the official in a Philippine Information Agency report, is a “major contributor to declining fish stocks and marine habitat destruction.”
In the report, Cruz said fishers from the towns of Masinloc and Subic in Zambales, and Mariveles in Bataan were involved in discussions and consultations to hear out issues and concerns in their major fishing ground.
Through the sessions, he said in the report, the fishers’ willingness to adopt harvest control strategies that can gradually reverse the deterioration of the fish population was determined.
“The effort further demonstrates the long-term partnership and joint strategic vision of the United States and Philippine governments to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and enhance the well-being of Filipinos who depend on fishing for food and livelihood,” Cruz said in a statement.
In October, the BFAR and the USAID conducted a training of trainers on the Philippine Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Index and Threat (I-FIT) assessment tool, according to the PIA report.