THE WAY FORWARD │ Level Up Philippine Agriculture!

Statement of DA Sec William Dar on the West Philippine Sea issue

Author: DA Communications Group | 19 April 2021

The Department of Agriculture through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) looks at the “West Philippine Sea issue” in general terms, that is, in the area of “Illegal, Unregulated, Unreported Fishing” (IUUF) activities by poachers — be they from China, Taiwan and Vietnam — and their “illegal presence” wherever in the Philippine exclusive economic zone (EEZ), or simply within our country’s territorial waters.

The DA-BFAR is finalizing its study on IUUF in the West Philippine Sea.

Meanwhile, we will continue to exert efforts to achieve food security through marine or capture fisheries, and sustained support to small, artisanal fisherfolk and their families.

The measures include:

  • Limit access to fishery and aquatic resources for the exclusive enjoyment of Filipino citizens;
  • Ensure rational and sustainable ecosystems-based management of aquatic resources in Philippine waters including the EEZ and adjacent high seas;
  • Protect the rights of municipal fisherfolk in the preferential use of their respective municipal waters; and
  • Address other related IUUF concerns and issues, in cooperation with the respective local government units, Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), and other relevant agencies.

Further, the DA through its integrated fisheries program will continue to provide fisherfolk and other industry stakeholders the following support through the:

  • Establishment of community-based hatcheries as sustainable source of fry and fingerlings for aquaculture farming (notably bangus, tilapia, shellfish) to beef up local production and provide affordable fish to the general public;
  • Provision of more fishing boats of bigger sizes to allow municipal fishers to venture farther, but within our territorial waters and EEZ, and likewise engage in capture fisheries; and
  • Directly link fishers and aquaculturists to markets through the “OpLan ISDa” program, in coordination with Metro Manila LGUs.

Finally, we should continue to uphold our rights over the West Philippine Sea, and our EEZ, in general. Let us stand united to deter and end illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing activities in our territorial waters. ###

Back to Archives