Special Report: Fish in troubled waters

Here’s a three-part special report published by Sun.Star Cebu on June 5, 6 and 7, 2014. Click on the links to read the full reports.

First-of-3-partsVisayan Sea mayday

The fish population in the Visayan Sea, one of the country’s major fishing grounds, has been exploited 70 percent beyond its capacity to replenish, threatening not just the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk but also the country’s food security.

National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) Visayan Sea project leader Prudencio Belga Jr. said the exploitation rate of commercial fisheries in the area has surpassed the exploration ratio of 50 percent, the threshold at which commercial dominant marine fish stock can recoup from natural deaths and death by fishing.

“This is alarming. We are exploiting our fish stock beyond its capacity to replenish,” he said.

[Read more]

Second-of-3-partsPaper caper, harmful farm

Like a Facebook relationship status, overfishing in the Visayan Sea is a complicated issue that cannot be addressed by a single solution.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) has implemented programs to manage commercial fishing efforts, enforce prohibitions on destructive fishing practices and provide alternative livelihood opportunities to fisherfolk in the Visayan Sea.

[Read more]

Last-of-3-partsTown and bounty

IF MAN won’t set the limits on his forays into the sea, the sea itself will.

In Lapu-Lapu City, Cebu, despite the risk of overfishing, no limits have been set on the volume of fish its fishermen may catch in its municipal waters, said Orlando Leyson, chairman of the city’s Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (FARMC).

The sea itself has set the limits for the residents.

[Read more]

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