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BFAR Eyes Sustainable Strategy to Manage Fishery Resources

Representatives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regions 8, 11 and 13 convened last September 2, 2019 in Hotel Esse, Davao City for the inception meeting in the establishment of Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 2.
 
The Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No. 263 Series of 2019, or the Establishment of FMAs for the Conservation and Management of Fisheries in Philippine Waters, was issued in January 28. It seeks to provide a science-based, participatory and transparent governance framework and mechanism to sustainably manage fisheries in such areas, consistent with the principles of EAFM or the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management.
 
FMA is based on biological, economic and social goals of the exploited fishery resources.
 
Regional directors Fatma M. Idris (BFAR 11), Visa T. Dimerin (BFAR 13) and Dr. John Albaladejo (BFAR 8), together with the provincial fishery officers (PFOs) and section heads, and representatives from the Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) participated in the said activity.
 
The group today provided a status report on the FMA per region, created a technical working group (TWG) for FMA 2, and listed down an action plan and to-do's for this year that are necessary in the creation of an FMA 2 Management Body (MB) and Scientific Advisory Group (SAG).
 
They have initially identified the municipalities that cover FMA 2, and the top priority species in the value chain, i.e., the yellowfin tuna, skipjack tuna, mackerel and shortfin scad (galunggong), big eye scad (matambaka), and bullet tuna (turingan) that are needed to be controlled and protected in order to improve production in the three regions.
 
Some stocks like the skipjack tuna and mackerel are being exploited beyond the limit and are already in danger of collapse. Therefore, there should be a very strict management control (e.g., closure until recovery).
 
The country's territory have been grouped into 12 management areas and dilineated based on approximate stock boundaries, range, distribution, and structure. FMA 2 is bounded by the coastline of Davao and Caraga (municipalities of Tago, Bayabas, Cagwait, Marihatag, San Agustin, Lianga, Barobo, Hinatuan, Bislig and Lingig in Surigao del Sur), the eastern coastline of Siargao Island (General Luna and Pilar), and the eastern coastline of Samar and Northern Samar.