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BFAR Caraga holds Orientation on FAO 263 to FMA Stakeholders

Fronted by Regional Director Visa T. Dimerin, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Caraga region recently held a series of orientation on the new Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 263 to various key stakeholders in the region.
The multisectoral orientation was held in Butuan City for FMA 9 and Surigao City for FMA 8, on August 28 and 29, respectively.
Serving as resource speaker during the 2-day activity was Napoleon Lamarca, Senior Aquaculturist from the Capture Fisheries Division of BFAR Central, who discussed the key points of the FAO 263, the science and concepts of ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM), and the history, development and rationale of fisheries management in the Philippines.
The FAO 263, as presented, promogulates the establishment of fisheries management areas (FMAs) for the conservation and management of fisheries in the Philippine waters.
"We are now moving towards EAFM, finding a balance between human well-being and ecological well-being through good governance," Lamarca said. "We need cooperation across sectors and coordination across municipal jurisdictions, to have a common direction towards managing and conserving our resources," stressed the resource speaker.
"With the FMA, it would be a science-based and participatory approach among the local government units (LGUs) and the different sectors in the preservation, conservation and management of our fishing grounds," said Omnia Olama, the acting Chief of the Regional Bureau's Fisheries Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division. "Hopefully through this (FMA), overfishing will be addressed," Olama added.
Meanwhile, RD Dimerin noted the importance of strengthening the fisheries and aquatic resource management councils (FARMCs) in all levels of Local Governance. "If your FARMC is strong and that you are able to represent your cause, the local legislative body will listen to you," the Regional Director said.
Dimerin also encouraged the participants to speak out their minds and ideas, and called for strong support among the key stakeholders. "Let our minds be aware and our hearts be touched by our cause for our seas," Dimerin added.
The orientation convened representatives from different sectoral groups such as municipal fishing, commercial fishing, aquaculture, traders, integrated FARMC, non government organization, academe and LGUs. Pursuant to its mandates, the FAO 263 delineates the Philippine waters into 12 FMAs wherein Caraga region is geographically covered by FMAs 2, 8 and 9.
As such, the event was conducted to facilitate the selection of the sectoral representatives among the key stakeholders for the establishment of the regional technical working group for FMAs 8 and 9.