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BFAR Wages War Against Destructive Fishing

PHILIPPINES - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is bent on eradicating illegal fisheries activities by intensifying the implementation of resource conservation and protection through strengthening of the agency's law enforcement unit.

In a statement, BFAR said that it is beefing up its resource protection capability through the creation of Fisheries Resource Protection and Quick Response Unit that will be on duty 24/7 to address the issues of illegal fishing and other emergency situation like the recent fish kills.

For his part, BFAR director Atty. Asis G. Perez said that closer collaboration and linkage shall be established between the law enforcement agencies, the Department of Environment and National Resources (DENR) and the local government units in order to curb illegal fishing which destroys the source of income of marginal fishing communities.

"We shall put an end to the finger-pointing syndrome whenever aquatic environment-related emergency situations occur. We shall be more pro-active and prepared by fostering cooperation and wide information campaign," Mr Perez said.

The agency's five program guideposts are increasing fish production through resource conservation; intensifying fishery resource protection and law enforcement; fast-tracking infrastructure development; investing on people; and research and technology to facilitate the fisheries industry development.

Mr Perez said his administration would build upon the many good things that had been established by the BFAR considering its major contribution to the growth of the country's agriculture sector.

He said BFAR also looks forward to planting 100 million mangrove trees over the next three years. He said the agency intends to promote aquasilvi or mangrove-friendly fish farming system to fisherfolk communities.

Infrastructural and other support facilities would also be established such as multi-species hatcheries, nurseries to supply the necessary inputs like blue crabs, abalone sea cucumber and sea urchins to aqua-silvi farmers and also to fish cage operators in mariculture parks, he added.

Lucy Towers

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