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Livelihoods destroyed – field visit to Mindoro Island in the Philippines
It has been just over three months since Typhoon Haiyan struck the Visayas, a region in central Philippines, causing immense damage, displacement of populations as well as claiming over 6200 casualties. The Philippines Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported that a total of 30,000 fishing boats were damaged or destroyed by the typhoon. During mid-November FAO staff travelled to the Southern Tagalog region (Region IV-B) in central Philippines. In rural areas as these, typhoon Haiyan severely affected the livelihoods of the fisherfolk when it made landfall on 8 November.
Among others, fishing is a primary source of income in Region IV-B and now that the sector suffered significant damage, vulnerable and marginalized fishers need immediate assistance to restart their lives. The damage to the fisheries sector spans across the entire value chain and FAO staff visiting Mindoro Island documented the destruction of mainly fishing boats and fishing nets as well as of infrastructure. The coastal barangays (the lowest administrative subdivisions) engaging in fishing activities or other aquaculture-based livelihoods, as well as the inland barangays of the Magsaysay municipality, were greatly affected by the storm surge.
FAO is working to restore fisheries-based livelihoods, reviving the economy and trade in fishing and in fish products.