By Ruth Abbey Gita-Carlos
MANILA – President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr. on Tuesday said he is considering imposing fishing bans in breeding areas to address overfishing and boost aquaculture.
Marcos stressed the need to increase fish supply as part of efforts to ensure food security.
“Kung minsan kailangan ‘wag uubusin ‘yung isda para sa next season mayroon pa. Kaya ‘yun ‘yung tinitignan natin ngayon (Sometimes, it is necessary not to catch all the fish so we would still have stock in the next season. So, that’s what we’re looking at now),” he said in a media interview in Zamboanga City.
“At may mga lugar na hindi dapat gawin palaisdaan dahil ito nga ay para sa breeding [at] para dumami ang population ng mga isda. Kaya ‘yun ang ating pinaplano (And there are places that should not be used for fishing because it is for breeding [and] to increase the population of fish. So that’s what we’re planning),” he added.
Marcos lamented that Filipino fisherfolk face several challenges, including low catch, because of the destruction of breeding areas.
He said the government is also implementing programs to put up more cold storage facilities to prevent spoilage, as he noted that up to 30 percent of fish catch is degraded or damaged.
“Walang cold storage. Kaya nagtatayo tayo ng cold storage. Doon naman sa mga maliliit na bagsakan ay magbibigay tayo ng gawaan ng yelo, para ‘yung yelo na ‘yan, ‘yun ‘yung ilalagay nila sa bangka para pag may nahuli sila, ilalagay lang doon sa yelo at hindi masira ‘yung isda (There was no cold storage. So, we are building cold storage. In the small fish ports, we will provide an ice maker, they will have ice in their boats to preserve their catch),” Marcos said.
“Tapos ang isusunod natin after that ay ‘yung processing na para doon lang sa isang lugar ang magiging processing. ‘Yun ang ating mga pinaplano para sa (Then what we will do next after that is the processing in just one place. That’s what we are planning for) fisheries.”
Marcos said imposing several restrictions is part of the government’s plan of securing the country’s fish supply, stressing that developing the Philippine agriculture not only means securing the supply of agricultural commodities, such as rice and corn, but also involves improving the fishery and the livestock sectors. (PNA)