According to the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, in the last 20 years, the Philippine’s global ranking in fisheries and aquaculture production had fallen due to unsustainable management systems and structures 

The Philippine government’s medium-term response was the implementation of the Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP), prepared by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), in consultation with stakeholders from the private sector, local and national government, academe, and civil societies.

Among others, the CNFIDP consisted of the Fisheries Industry Roadmaps on milkfish, tilapia, shrimp, shellfish, and seaweed to set production targets and strategies on each commodity for sustainable resource management.

These roadmaps were the main topic during the National Banner Program Committee on Fisheries and Aquaculture (NBPC on F&A) at its second quarter meeting on July 23, 2021. An overview was presented to the body, which opened the dialogue on target updates and general guidelines.

All fisheries and aquaculture roadmaps were suggested to include an in-depth discussion of other industry aspects (i.e. technical and production skills, technology, labor and environmental issues) through benchmarking and incorporating extensive marketing.

The National Tuna Management Plan and National Sardines Management Plan were also tackled considering that these are valuable commodities. The creation of a technical working group was recommended to review the Tuna Management Plan and the implementing rules of animal welfare for fisheries and aquaculture commodities.

The Committee also conferred on adopted resolutions with regards to the proposed review of Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 197-1, s. 2012, or the Revised rules and regulations governing the lease of public lands for fishpond and mangrove-friendly aquaculture.

BFAR was recommended to include climate change adaptation measures on the said FAO as well as run a complete fishpond inventory to determine the physical and tenurial status of all fishponds in the country.

The Committee also proposed that the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute (NFRDI) should conduct a research relative to determine the appropriate production targets for fishponds under the Fisheries Lease Agreements and Aquasilviculture Stewardship Contracts (ASC).

Tentatively, the NBPC on F&A was scheduled to meet for its third quarter on August 25 to provide updates on above recommendations and discuss off-shore mining with the Department of Environment and Natural Resources. | JCL