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Philippine Tuna Industry Calls For A Fisheries Department

A proposal for a Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DFAR) to be created is one of several resolutions to be made by stakeholders in the local Philippine tuna industry. Eleven other resolutions form an initiative that they believe the government can adopt to make the sector more resilient.

Tuna Congress Chairman, Joaquin Lu said that the creation of DFAR is one of the top resolutions and has long been a clamor of the fishing industry. He added that there is a need to give priority to the fishery sector to ensure its protection in line with depleting sea resources.

“The country can have a better leverage in international ministerial conferences, if we are represented by a Cabinet secretary, and not just a bureau director,” he said.

Quicker issuance of the Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) of the handline fishing law to help develop this part of the industry will also be requested of the Department of Transportation and Communications by the Tuna Congress.

Lu explained that IRR had become more important since the WCPFC’s recent access grant to Philippine vessels fishing in Pocket 1 of the Pacific Ocean. This came as part of a Special Management Agreement.

Key tuna players in the local industry will also urge President Aquino to create a Philippine Committee for Advancement of Highly Migratory Fisheries. This will be called upon to ensure the conservation and sustainability of highly migratory fish.

The resolutions will be presented next month as part of the 15th National Tuna Congress and Trade Exhibit, organized by the Soccsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc.