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Minister Offers Support To Fisheries Industry

PHILIPPINES - In an effort to forge a better partnership with fishery industry leaders, Agriculture Secretary, Proceso J. Alcala, gave his full support to commercial fishing sector, during a recent dialogue held at the Navotas Fishport Complex.

Minister Alcala said: "I will personally look into the status and current problems of your group," adding that the Department of Agriculture – through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the Philippine Fisheries and Development Authority (PFDA) – and other concerned agencies, will always include and consult the local fishermen, fish traders, fishing vessel operators and other stakeholders in the crafting of policies and programmes in fisheries and aquaculture.

"This way, we promote participation and ensure transparency," the Minister stressed during the forum last week, which served as a venue of discussion for some of the major issues hounding the local fishing industry.

DA is set to look into overlapping and interrelated regulations implemented by different national government agencies on commercial fishing vessel operations.

"We will also include certification requirements and labour issues," Mr Alcala added.

The Department will also look into the guidelines on fish importation; sanitary and phytosanitary (SPS) requirements of importing countries; upgrading of fishing ports and post harvest facilities; implementation of the National Tuna Management Plan and RA 9379 (Handline Fishing Law; negotiation for fishing access to the high seas as well as with the Pacific Island States; compliance with the EU regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing; Philippine permanent representatives to the Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMO); institutionalization of the National Tuna Industry Council; delineation of municipal waters; credit assistance and livelihood for fishermen; fishery resource management; and preparation for the climate change challenges in the fisheries sector.

After the forum, Minister Alcala, BFAR director Malcolm Sarmiento and PFDA General Manager Petronilo Buendia inspected the market, wharf and cold storage facilities inside fish port complex.

the Fish Site Editor

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