INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES

May 2000

LOCATION AND MAIN LANDING PLACES

The major fishing grounds in the Philippines are West Palawan waters, Sulu Sea, Visayan Sea, Moro Gulf and others. These fishing grounds constitute more than 64% of the total commercial fishing catch from 1992-1995. For municipal fisheries, these areas including Bohol Sea contribute 41% of fish catch, for the same period (Table 1).

Fish catch from these major fishing grounds are landed in the different landing ports strategically located nationwide. Table 2 shows the list of fish landing areas, its location, total area and the estimated fish unloading in metric tons in 1998. Navotas Fish Port Complex appears a main landing site for marine and inland fisheries as well as aquaculture commodities.

Table 1. Average production by major fishing grounds, Philippines, 1992-1995

Fishing grounds

Average (mt.)

% Share

Commercial

West Palawan Waters

South Sulu Sea

Visayan Sea

Moro Gulf

Lamon Bay

Bohol Sea

East Sulu Sea

International waters

Samar Sea

Guimaras Strait

Manila Bay

Tayabas Bay

Sibuyan Bay

Others

Municipal

Visayan Sea

Bohol Sea

East Sulu

Moro Gulf

Guimaras Strait

South Sulu Sea

West Palawan Waters

Lamon Bay

Leyte Gulf

Samar Sea

Davao Gulf

Cuyo Pass

Tayabas Bay

Others

845,446

158,220

149,243

137,942

98,050

41,901

34,263

29,071

25,558

23,385

23,382

21,899

19,826

15,434

67,272

807,524

92,885

84,305

78,491

74,765

55,106

44,000

38,444

37,138

36,587

35,622

28,365

27,253

22,500

152,063

100.00

18.71

17.65

16.32

11.60

4.96

4.05

3.44

3.02

2.77

2.77

2.59

2.34

1.82

7.96

100.00

11.50

10.44

9.72

9.26

6.82

5.45

4.76

4.60

4.53

4.41

3.51

3.38

2.79

18.83


Table 2. List of Fish Landing Places

Fish ports

Location

Total area

Fish landings (MT) (1998)

I. Regional Fish Ports (PFDA)

 

 

 

1. Navotas Fish Port Complex

North Blvd.,Navotas, M Manila

47.60 Ha

239,248

2. Iloilo Fish Port Complex

Barangay Tanza, Iloilo City

21.00 Ha

26,434

3. Zamboanga Fish Port Complex

Sangali, Zamboanga City

12.50 Ha

16,085

4. Lucena Fish Port Complex

Dalahican, Lucena City

7.80 Ha

13,919

5.Camaligan Fish Port Complex

Bgy.Dugcal, Camaligan, Cam. Sur

1.60 Ha

N/A

6. Sual Fish Port Complex

Bgy. Poblacion Sual. Pangasinan

3.18 Ha

703

7. Davao Fish Port Complex

Daliao, Davao City

4.50 Ha

5,846

8. General Santos Fish Port Complex

Bgy. Tambler, General Santos City South Cotabato

11.00 Ha

9,309

II. Municipal Fish Ports

     

A. Joint Management by
PFDA and LGU

 

  

 

1. Rosario Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Pandawan, Rosario, Cavite

8,623 m2

13,626

2. Cardona Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Looc, Cardona, Rizal

3,232 m2

N/A

3. Dipolog Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Barra Dipolog City,

4,044 m2

N/A

 

Zamboanga del Norte

 

 

B. Sole Management by LGU

  

 

 

1. Tabaco Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Fatima, Tobaco, Albay

6,841 m2

768

2. Bulan Municipal Fish Port

Zone 1. Bualn, Sorsogon

4,000 m2

* 5,286

3. Orani Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Bago Pantalan, Orani, Bataan

7,200 m2

** 4,094

4. Atimonan Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Poblacion, Atimonan, Quezon

5,250 m2

** 2,495

5. Pilar Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Poblacion, Pilar Sorsogon

2,066 m2

N/A

6. Mercedes Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. 5 Mercedes, Camarines Norte

11,900 m2

N/A

7. Roxas City Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Labas Roxas Capiz

2,598 m2

9,933

8. Sogod Municipal Fish Port

Sogod, Southern Leyte

2,156 m2

N/A

9. Estancia Municipal Fish Port

Bgy. Poblacion, Estancia, Iloilo City

6,096 m2

** 2,828

10. Castilla Municipal Fish Port

Malacaya Castilla, Sorsogon

162 m2

N/A

 

Poblacion, Castilla, Sorsogon

289 m2

N/A

11. Casiguran Municipal Fish Port

Casiguran,Sorsogon

700 m2

N/A

12. Jagna Municipal Fish Port

Jagna, Bohol

781 m2

N/A

* Until October 15, 1998 only.

     

** 1996 fish unloadings

     

FISHERIES POLICIES AND PLANS

The declared fisheries policies of the State under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act 8550) are:

  • To achieve food security as the overriding consideration in the utilization, management, development, conservation and protection of fishery resources in order to provide the food needs of the population. A flexible policy towards the attainment of food security shall be adopted in response to changes in demographic trends for fish, emerging trends in the trade of fish and other aquatic products in domestic and international markets, and the law of supply and demand;

  • To limit access to the fishery and aquatic resources of the Philippines for the exclusive use and enjoyment of Filipino citizens;

  • To ensure the rational and sustainable development, management and conservation of the fishery and aquatic resources in Philippine waters including the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and in the adjacent high seas, consistent with the primordial objective of maintaining a sound ecological balance, protecting and enhancing the quality of the environment;

  • To protect the rights of fisherfolk, especially of the local communities with priority to municipal fisherfolk, in the preferential use of the municipal waters. Such preferential use, shall be based on, but not limited to, Maximum Sustainable Yield (MSY) or Total Allowable Catch (TAC) on the basis of resources and ecological conditions, and shall be consistent with our commitments under international treaties and agreements;

  • To provide support to the fishery sector, primarily to the municipal fisherfolk, including women and youth sectors, through appropriate technology and research, adequate financial, production, construction of post-harvest facilities, marketing assistance, and other services. The protection of municipal fisherfolk against foreign intrusion shall extend to offshore fishing grounds. Fishworkers shall receive a just share for their labor in the utilization of marine and fishery resources.

  • To manage fishery and aquatic resources, in a manner consistent with the concept of an integrated coastal area management in specific natural fishery management areas, appropriately supported by research, technical services and guidance provided by the State, and

  • To grant the private sector the privilege to utilize fishery resources under the basic concept that the grantee, licensee or permittee thereof shall not only be a privileged beneficiary of the State but also an active participant and partner of the government in the sustainable development, management, conservation and protection of the fishery and aquatic resources of the country.

Goals and objectives

The goals and specific objectives of the Agrikulturang MakaMASA-Fisheries Program, 1999-2004 are to:

  • Contribute to national food security at all times;

  • Ensure the rational and sustainable development, management and conservation of fishery and aquatic resources in Philippine waters including the EEZ and adjacent high seas;

  • Reduce poverty incidence in the coastal areas;andEnhance people empowerment in the fisheries sector.

Specifically, the objectives formulated under the Program seeks to:

  • Contribute to national food security at all times;

  • Improve aquaculture productivity within ecological limits;

  • Optimize utilization of offshore fisheries and deep-sea resources;Improve product quality and reduce post-harvest losses;

  • Provide a favorable policy environment conducive to increased investment and global competitiveness and people participation;

  • Conserve, protect and sustain management of the country's fishery and aquatic resources; and

  • Alleviate poverty among municipal fisherfolk and provide supplementary livelihood.

Overall strategies

The overall strategies as specified under the Program are to:

  • Produce quality fish broodstock, seeds and fingerlings;

  • Promote production-intensifying but cost reducing technologies within ecological limits;

  • Improve the production-marketing systems to become more efficient and effective;

  • Empower local government units (LGUs) to assume primary responsibility for food
    security and resource management within their respective areas;

  • Provide technical support for LGUs to help them attain the target yield;Develop complementation and counterpart schemes with the LGUs;

  • Conserve and protect the country's fisheries and aquatic resources;

  • Focus national government support on strategic areas;Increase in public investment particularly on post-harvest facilities;

  • Availment of trade and fiscal incentives by the private sector.

  • Promote fisherfolk organizations;and

  • Tap the expertise of private/state universities and colleges (SUCs) in accessing appropriate technologies, providing a forum for research-extension linkages, and assisting in the evaluation of programs.


MANAGEMENT OBJECTIVES, MEASURES AND ARRANGEMENTS FOR MAJOR FISHERIES

Municipal fisheries

Under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, the municipality/city government shall have jurisdiction over municipal waters and shall be responsible for the management, conservation, protection, utilization and disposition of all fish and fishery/aquatic resources within their respective municipal waters, in consultation with the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Councils (FARMC). Therefore, the Local Government Units (LGUs) shall enforce all fishery laws, rules and regulations as well as valid fishery ordinances enacted by the municipality/city council. The LGUs shall maintain a registry of municipal fisherfolk, who are fishing in municipal waters for the purpose of determining priorities among them, or limiting entry into the municipal waters and of monitoring fishing activities and/or other related purposes. In addition, the LGU concerned can grant demarcated fishery rights to fishery organizations/cooperative for mariculture operation. Consequently, whenever it is determi ed by the LGUs and the Department of Agriculture (DA) that a municipal water is overfished based on available data or information or in danger of being overfished, the LGU shall prohibit or limit the fishery activities in the said waters.

The municipal or city government may through its local chief executive and acting pursuant to an appropriate ordinance can authorize or permit small and medium commercial fishing vessels to operate within the 10.1 to 15 km area from the shoreline in municipal waters provided but the following are met: (a) no commercial fishing in municipal waters with depth less than 7 fathoms; (b) fishing activities utilize methods and gears that are determined to be consistent with national policies; (c) prior consultation, through public hearing; and (d) the applicant vessel as well as ship owner, employer, captain and crew have been certified.

The major management and support mechanisms for the municipal waters include the promotion of community-based coastal resource management program to include delineation of the bay for exclusive use of municipal fisherfolk, control of fishing effort in each bay to estimated yields, encouragement of fisherfolk to enforce laws and involve LGUs, NGOs and communities in management and awareness of coastal resources, regulation in specific areas and provision of alternative livelihood projects. In addition, management interventions include the protection of coral reefs and mangrove areas by establishing artificial reefs, replanting of mangroves, establishment of fish sanctuaries, establishment of closed areas and seasons for selected gears, vessels and species.

Commercial fisheries

The principal tool for fisheries management is the licensing system, covering both the license to fish and the license to operate fishing vessel. For commercial fisheries, the registration, documentation, inspection and manning of the operation of all types of fishing vessels plying Philippine waters shall be in accordance with existing laws, rules and regulations. The commercial fishing boat license shall be effective for 3 years and the fishing gears that will be used in its commercial fishing operation shall also be licensed.

Various management efforts have been implemented for commercial fisheries in the Philippines. These include management of payaos (fish attraction devices), protection of juveniles and spawning grounds; regulation of mesh size and the use of superlights, support fishing operations in international waters and seek early resolution of issues on disputed fishing grounds and territories.

Aquaculture

The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 provides that public lands such as tidal swamps, mangroves, marshes, foreshore lands and fishery operations shall not be disposed or alienated. Fishpond lease agreement (FLA) may be issued for public lands that may be declared available for fishpond development primarily to qualified fisherfolk cooperatives/ associations.

In addition, the DA shall declare a reservation, portions of available public lands as suitable for fishpond purposes for fish sanctuary, conservation and ecological purposes. Fish-pens, fish cages, fish traps and other structures for the culture of fish and other fishery products shall be constructed and shall operate only within established zones designated by the LGUs in consultation with FARMCs after corresponding license have been secured. However, no fish-pens or fish cages or fish traps shall be allowed in lakes after 2 001. Consequently, pearl culture, all fish hatcheries, fish breeding facilities and private fishponds must be registered with the LGUs.

PRESENT ROLE OF FISHERIES IN THE NATIONAL ECONOMY

The Philippines is an important producer of fish in the world, ranking 13th among the 51 top fish producing countries in 1996, with its total production of about 1.8 million metric tons, or a share of 1.9 % to the total world catch of 94.625 million metric tons.

Although not a dominant player in the national economy, fisheries is nevertheless an important sector, with its contribution of US$ 1.8 billion, 2.7% percent to the country's Gross National Product (GNP) of US$ 68.2 billion at current prices in 1998. It also provides employment to about 1 million or 5 % of the total labor force.

The average annual growth rate achieved by the Philippine fisheries from 1989-1998 was 1.8 percent. Positive growths were recorded in aquaculture, 4.7 percent and commercial fisheries, 4.4 percent, but municipal fisheries declined by 2.3 percent. The production was mainly contributed by aquaculture fisheries, 34.3 percent, followed by commercial fisheries, 33.7 percent and municipal fisheries, 32 percent in 1998.

ROLE OF THE NON GOVERNMENT ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs) AND THE PRIVATE SECTOR

The Philippine government recognizes NGOs as partners on development works, especially in gaining greater involvement of the people on decision making, planning and implementation of programs. These private organizations committed to the task of socioeconomic development were established primarily to render service to coastal communities. Together with the coastal community, projects responsive to the people's needs are identified, formulated and local capabilities built up. Through the NGOs, invaluable assistance is also rendered by conducting technical training covering resource management, self-regulation and occupational diversification programs.

On the other hand, the role of the private sector in fisheries management and development is very important in the Philippines. It is stated in the national policies that the government shall grant the private sector the privilege to utilize the fishery resources at the same time serve as active participant and partner of the Government in the sustainable development, management, conservation and protection of the fishery and aquatic resources of the country. This is to promote people empowerment in the fishery sector and ensure profitability of effort especially among our small-scale fisherfolk.

INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION IN THE REGION

The Philippines through the BFAR is an active member and signatory to various regional and international bodies concerned in fisheries management and development, such as:

  • Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) concerned to have one body for mutual cooperation and brotherhood among member nations. For the fisheries cooperation, they aim to promote food security and sustainable development of fisheries through greater collaboration with other concerned regional and international organizations.

  • Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC) concerned to promote fisheries development among member countries in the Southeast Asian Region. The four departments of SEAFDEC are concerned with Marine Capture Fisheries Training (Thailand), Marine Fisheries Research (Singapore), Aquaculture Research (Philippines), and Marine Fishery Resource Development and Management (Malaysia).

  • The Brunei Darussalam, Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines' East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is an economic growth area which aims to intensify economic cooperation. The area is resource-rich and presents vast opportunities for investments, tourism and trade. Its major concern is to create broad avenues for private sector to participate, facilitate the freer movement of people, goods and services in order to stimulate the sub-regional economy by rapidly expanding its market and resource base as well as share common infrastructure and national resources.

  • The Asia-Pacific Fishery Commission (APFIC), formerly titled the Indo-Pacific Fisheries Council (IPFC) concerned in assisting its member countries to achieve accelerated fisheries development and management. The Commission has played significant role and serves as source of inspiration and guidance, influencing the member countrie's national fisheries development policies and planning.

  • The Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) served as primary regional vehicle for promoting open trade and practical economic cooperation. This organization aims to sustain the growth and development of the region for the common good of its peoples and, in this way, to contribute to the growth and development of the world economy as well as to enhance the positive gains both for the region and the world economy, resulting from increasing economic interdependence, to include encouraging the flow of goods, services, capital and technology.

The Philippines receives technical assistance in the fisheries sector from Japan, Australia, Canada, the United States and others. United Nation agencies (FAO, UNDP) have also been involved in providing technical services and support to Philippine's fisheries sector.

INVESTMENTS IN FISHERIES

There is no adequate information available on private investments in the Philippine fisheries sector. However, based on the Philippine Fisheries Code and the fisheries sector plan, massive investments are urgently needed by the public and private sector, at all aspects of the fisheries industry including production, harvesting, processing, marketing, research and extension. For the year 2000, the national government proposed a budget for the fisheries sector (Table 3).

Table 3. Proposed BFAR Budget, CY 2000

Component

Year 2000
(US$)

I Regular Activities

II MakaMASA-FISHERIES

a. Fisheries Production

b. Post-Harvest and Infrastructure

c. Training & Technology Transfer

d. Fisheries Information and Marketing Support

e. R & D in Fisheries

f. Program Organization and Management

g. Conservation and Management

III Foreign Assisted Projects

472,406

926,585

114,619

116,061

250,194

11,225

54,025

296,951

83,510

495,432

 

MAIN FISHERIES REGULATIONS

In February 25, 1998, the Republic Act 8550 was enacted into law, entitled "An Act Providing for the Development, Management and Conservation of the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Integrating All Laws Pertinent Thereto and for Other Purposes", otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. This law took effect on March 23, 1998. The Code aims to achieve food security as the overriding consideration in the utilization, management, development, conservation and protection of fishery resources in order to provide the food needs of the population as well as to limit access to the fishery resources of the Philippines for the exclusive use and enjoyment of the Filipino people.

PROJECTED DEMAND AND SUPPLY

The most recent forecasts (Bernacsek, 1996) on per caput food fish supply trend projection (Table 4) indicate that assuming that the observed recent trend for per caput food fish supply to decline at an average rate of 22.4% per annum continues into the future (Fig. 3), per caput supply would decline to 19.31 kg/person by 2010 (compared to 28.48 kg/person in 1994). This is equivalent to a total food fish supply of 1,813,000 tons, given a population of 93.9 million. Assuming that the shares of domestic production and imports in total food fish supply remain constant at the 1994 ratio (95.8% and 4.2%, respectively), domestic production for consumption of 1,737,000 tons would be required to support this level of per caput supply. The 1994 level of domestic production for consumption was 1,873,000 tons, which is 7.8% higher than the 2010 requirement. Such a development would only come about if there was a massive shift away from fish as a source of dietary animal protein.

On the sustainable scenario, he indicated that assuming that all positive interventions in the fisheries sector are successful, domestic production of food fish rise to 2,220,000 tons by 2010. The per caput food fish supply could thus be 24.69 kg/person, and would require an import quantity (97,000 tons) only moderately higher than the 1994 level. On the other hand, he also mentioned the unsustainable scenario wherein assuming there are no positive interventions in the fisheries sector, and current trends of resource depletion and environmental degradation continue, domestic production of food fish might fall as low as 940,000 tons by 2010. The per caput food fish supply would decline to 10.45 kg/person.

Table 4. Projections of per caput food fish supply in year 2010

Year

Supply estimation

Population

Domestic

food fish

Production

(tons)

Food fish

import

requirement

(tons)

Total

food fish

supply

(tons)

Per caput

food fish

supply

(kg/person)

1994

Domestic production plus imports

68,624,000

1,872,548

82,138

1,954,686

28.48

2010

Projection of 1994 per caput supply level

93,874,000

1,736,573

76,134

1,812,707

19.31

(assuming -2.4% annual decline)

 

 

 

 

 

2010

Sustainable scenario

93,874,000

2,220,000

97,328

2,317,328

24.69

2010

Unsustainable scenario

93,874,000

940,000

41,211

981,211

10.45

Note: It is assumed that the share of imports in total supply remains constant at the 1994 level of 4.2%

ORGANISATIONAL STRUCTURE OF THE NATIONAL FISHERIES AUTHORITY

The Department of Agriculture (DA) through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has responsibility for the fisheries sector (Fig. 1). Under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, the BFAR as a reconstituted line bureau under the DA and created the position of Undersecretary for Fisheries and Aquatic Resources solely for the purpose of attending to the needs of the fishing industry.

BFAR, as a line bureau is headed by a Director and assisted by two Assistant Directors who shall supervise the administrative and technical services of the bureau, respectively. The Bureau have 11 Divisions, 8 National Technology Centers, 7 Regional Fisheries Training Centers, 15 Regional Fisheries Offices with Provincial Fisheries Offices, strategically located nationwide (Fig. 2).

(please click to enlarge images)

Figure 1. Organizational Structure DA and BFAR

 

Figure 2. Organisational Structure-BFAR