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'Fish Ruler' Brings Sustainability to Folk

PHILIPPINES - Panukat isda or "fish ruler," and the launching of Puno ko, Sagip Buhay Mo, are some of the fish conservation measures which the Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources implemented recently.

According to the DA press report, these initiatives are also aimed at increasing the general public's awareness and appreciation of efforts to sustain the development and conservation of the country's fisheries subsector which provides employment and livelihood to over one million fishermen and their families, writes T. Villavert .

Secretary Arthur Yap said in a press report that the fishery sector produces more than P180 billion worth of aquaculture and marine products, and about $390 million worth of fishery exports annually.

On the "Puno, Sagip Buhay Mo", the DA secretary explained that it is a nationwide mangrove and watershed reforestation program. This is a tree-planting program that the BFAR is undertaking with Pampano, a nationwide fisherfolk organization and some local government units, that aims to plant at least six million mangrove propagules and acacia seedlings to rehabilitate key coastal and watershed areas across the country.

The "Panukat Isda" or fish ruler educates the public on the ill effects of catching and consuming baby fishes which leads to the fast depletion of the country's fish resources. The water-resistant "fish ruler" shows the photos of five common fishes sold in the market with their corresponding length at first maturity." Any fish whose length falls short of the prescribed length is considered a baby and must not be caught and if already caught, must be returned back to the sea.

These measures are implemented by the DA and BFAR to ease the combined effects of climate change, overfishing and illegal fishing, the DA press report disclosed.