Aquaculture for all

Final Reading On Fisheries Code

Sustainability Politics +2 more

PHILIPPINES - The House of Representatives has approved the third and final reading of House Bill 4540 which is reviewing and amending the Fisheries Code, according to ManilaBulletin

The Bill , which is a consolidation of 14 measures seeking to protect the marine and coastal ecosystems, gained acceptance on 31 May, only a few days after the reported fish kill in Batangas.

The House committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources, chaired by Cebu Rep. Benhur L. Salimbangon stated that they hope the measure will be enacted into law before the year ends.

The measure also seeks to give harsher penalties against illegal fishing and maintains that the cutting of mangroves is also strictly prohibited.

HB 4540 also provides the establishment of fisheries and aquatic resources centres, seaweed processing plants and Mariculture Development Parks that seek to increase the productivity of different provinces and municipalities nationwide.

Mr Salimbangon said the government should create these centres as soon as possible, “to be able to preserve an ideal aquatic ecosystem which contributes a big portion to food security of the country."

Another author of the bill, Iloilo Rep. Augusto Boboy Syjuco said the fisheries and aquatic resources centres are mandated to set the directions, objectives, and the operations of many fishing activities; to engage in technology, research and development in the field of fishery and streamline all concerns and to preserve and propagate aquatic and marine resources to benefit sectors involved in fish production.

The approved measure also provides the government with the ability to permit the use of certain fishing gears in municipal waters subject to regulations or restrictions and covered by an appropriate ordinance.

It emphasises that the only fishing gears allowed to be used in municipal waters are those that will not harm coastal and marine habitats, and will not deplete fish stocks or endanger the health and safety of the people.

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