Plan of action for fishery sector will benefit small stakeholders, says fishery official

October 7, 2015 10:16 am 

ILOILO CITY, Oct. 6 — The recently adopted Iloilo Plan of Action for the fishery sector, aimed at ensuring food security and developing agribusiness, will benefit small stakeholders in the long term, a fishery official has said.

During a press briefing on Monday, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Director Asis Perez said one of the major priorities of the action plan is to make the Asia-Pacific region's marine resources sustainable.

"If you look at the different priorities in the recommended plan of action, one of the important elements is to have resilient ocean, coastal resources, and ecosystems and sustainable aquaculture," he said.

Perez pointed out that sustainable ocean is a prerequisite to sustainable production and a fishing community cannot have production without seagrass beds and mangrove areas where marine life reproduce and thrive.

Once these areas are degraded, small fishermen are the ones primarily affected because unlike big fishing companies, they are unable to go elsewhere to fish, he said.

Perez further said that the Iloilo Plan of Action also encourages fishermen to bypass middlemen and sell directly to the market, which would mean additional income for them.

"If there is access on the part of our small fishers to the upper level of the value chain, then they can expect benefits," he said.

Member economies of the APEC on Monday adopted the Iloilo Plan of Action on Food Security and the Blue Economy, which will be presented to the APEC economic leaders in November.

Among the priorities of the action plan are ensuring sustainable food supply chains, reducing fish loss, and developing the region's agribusiness for food security. (PNA)



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