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Climate Change Will Impact Filippino Milkfish Farmers

PHILIPPINES - Recent meetings addressed the impact of climate change on small-scale milkfish farmers.

Milkfish production is the second highest component of aquaculture production in the Philippines by volume (229,111 tonnes in 2007) and the highest of the animal aquaculture products, and also the second highest in terms of value (US$ 317 million in 2007) after giant tiger shrimp.

According to Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific (NACA), Ilolio province of the Philippines is an area where a large amount of the milkfish production occurs. The province is vulnerable to climate change and thus was selected as a case study area for the impacts and adaptation of small scale aquaculture to climate change project.

Two focus group discussion meetings of milkfish farmers were held in Dumangas and Barotac Viejo towns in Iloilo City on 30 September 2009 close to the farms of participating milkfish farmers. The focus group discussion meetings mapped farmer perceptions of climate change including climate change issues, impacts on production, economic impacts, adaptation solutions, responsible agencies and matched impacts with seasonal and cropping calendars.

Two focus group discussion meetings of milkfish farmers were held in Dumangas and Barotac Viejo towns in Iloilo City on 30 September 2009 close to the farms of participating milkfish farmers. The focus group discussion meetings mapped farmer perceptions of climate change including climate change issues, impacts on production, economic impacts, adaptation solutions, responsible agencies and matched impacts with seasonal and cropping calendars.

A stakeholder workshop was held in Iloilo City on 1 October 2009 with a range of stakeholders including government representatives, scientists, milkfish farmers and milkfish farming support industry people. After hearing about the status of milkfish farming in Iloilo, climate changes that had occurred and the predicted future effects of climate change, stakeholders identified adaptation solutions in four areas: operational measures (farmer measures),technical measures (science measures), institutional measures (local government units, provincial, regional and central measures), and financial measures (calamity insurance, etc).

The milkfish farmers identified a number of climate change impacts that they are currently experiencing and described their adaptive practices. Possible future measures to assist milkfish farmers to adapt to climate change were identified at the research and institutional levels.

The project is now conducting a comprehensive survey of small scale milkfish farmers in Iloilo, the Philippines, which will be used with secondary information to assess their vulnerability and adaptive capacity to climate change.

These activities are part of the climate change impacts and adaptation of milkfish farming in the Philippines case study, and are among several case studies for the regional project 'Strengthening adaptive capacities to the impacts of climate change in resource-poor small-scale aquaculture and aquatic resources-dependent sectors in the south and south east Asian region' funded by NORAD.

the Fish Site Editor

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