BIMP-EAGA aquaculture summit centers on environmental conservation

April 8, 2010 11:02 am 

ZAMBOANGA CITY, April 8 — The one-day aquaculture summit of the Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) has centered on environment conservation.

“The aquaculture industry will certainly sustain through environmental conservation,” Dr. Jose Ingles of World Wildlife Fund (WWF), one of the resource speakers, said.

The WWF has been protecting the future of nature and is the world’s leading organization.

The WWF works in 100 countries and is supported by 1.2 million members in the United States and close to five million globally.

The BIMP-EAGA aquaculture summit was held Monday in General Santos City with concerned stakeholders in attendance.

Ingles cited that the crisis on dwindling tuna stocks is mainly due to over fishing instigated by the loss of bio-diversity and natural habitat like coral reefs and mangroves.

Ingles put emphasis on every man’s duty on preserving the ecosystem citing “responsible practices ensure sustainability of supply, hence business sustainability.”

He added that products produced from good environmental practices usually have market preference.

The four-member countries Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-Philippines resolved to bolster environmental conservation for better market access and strengthen cost-effective systems on energy and water usage for savings in operations that would produce good profit.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource (BFAR) Regional 12 Director Sani Macabalang stressed the significant contribution of aquaculture in stabilizing the food supply and availability not only in the region but in the global arena.

“Aquaculture contributes 45 percent to the overall fish production in the world and also poses a noteworthy input in Region 12 where tuna purse seine fishing ban is most felt,” Macabalang said.

“The aquaculture provided what the capture sector lost from over fishing and mismanagement,” he added.

However, Macabalang underlined that unregulated aquaculture could bring damaging impact to the ecosystem and natural stocks.

“All stakeholders – fishers, academe, traders, non-government organizations, consumers and the government – have an obligation and must take the lead to initiate strategic plans (holistic approach) for an unremitting advocacy on values-based business transformational practices and governance attuned to align all efforts to the commands of the Creator not only in the flourishing aquaculture ventures in the country but as a way of life,” he concluded. (PNA)

LDV/TPG/mec

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