USDA, BFAR join hands to protect seas in the Visayas | Inquirer Business

USDA, BFAR join hands to protect seas in the Visayas

/ 05:12 AM November 22, 2018

The US Department of Agriculture and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have launched a five-year joint project that seeks to protect and develop seas in the Visayas.

This as the country saw a steady decline in its fisheries production for the last four years.

In a statement released by the US Embassy, the US Agency for International Development said the P1.3-billion project would focus on “addressing biodiversity threats, improving marine ecosystem governance, and increasing number and weight of fish” in the Calamianes Island Group, Visayan Seas, and South Negros.


Data from BFAR showed the country loses around P68.5 billion annually to harmful fishing practices, while some 60 percent of the population depends on coastal resources for their livelihood.


“BFAR is pleased to continue its partnership with USAID through the Fish Right Program. We are at the forefront of the country’s fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing, which to this day continues to imperil marine and aquatic resources and the livelihood of hundreds of thousands of fisherfolk,” BFAR director Ed Gongona said.

USAID, which will provide the funds for the joint project, has been supporting local conservation efforts since the 1990s.

The partnership has resulted in a 24-percent increase in the number and size of fish variants in selected regions. —KARL OCAMPO

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TAGS: Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), US Department of Agriculture

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