Community Research and Development Information Service - CORDIS

Philippine fish facing challenging future

Under the Specific Support Action the PHILMINAQ project undertook a study to derive a methodology of sustainable development for the Philippine fishery industry. Several challenges were identified and specific solutions generated.
Philippine fish facing challenging future
Since the fishery industry accounts for a good fifth of the Philippine total economy, employing nearly 10 million people, it is of vital interest to ensure sustainable methods and monitoring procedures. Such measures were seen as key to understanding why, despite an economic growth in this sector, the Philippine world contribution actually decreased in the 1980's.

Fuelled by this, three monitoring levels were developed that served as tools for the planning and optimisation of all fisheries production. Alongside these monitoring tools, hydrodynamic and depositional models were also developed. Three key challenges were identified; sustainable economic growth, environmental stewardship and the fair and even distribution of benefits to all parties involved.

Despite the decrease in its global production values, the Philippine fisheries industry held enormous potential for growth for both food security and employment. The latter was considered of vital interest since it was found that the majority of fish farmers were actually lower income earners, having little ability to convert resources into income.

Further to this, an integrated ecosystem approach to managing fish industries was found to be the best policy for a number of reasons. One such was that the degradation of sensitive habitats such as mangroves and coral reefs was linked to the development of aquaculture practices. By deploying this integrated ecosystem approach of land, water and living resources the conservation and sustainability of practices were ensured.

In addition the study was able to draft various Codes of Conduct and Practice based on a review of the Environmental Impact Assessment. It compiled regulations for Aquaculture in order to provide a synthesis of existing procedures and practices. These Codes ensured that the best practice guidelines did not adversely affect the poorer, smaller scale fisheries.

A guidebook was also compiled for the dissemination of knowledge to all stakeholders, targeting local government and communities to better assist them in targeting threats, to acquire information regarding policies and to better appreciate the potential of aquaculture regarding food security, income generation and employment.

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