|INFORMATION ON FISHERIES MANAGEMENT IN THE REPUBLIC OF THE PHILIPPINES|
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
Table 2. List of Fish Landing Places
The declared fisheries policies of the State under the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 (Republic Act 8550) are:
Goals and objectives
The goals and specific objectives of the Agrikulturang MakaMASA-Fisheries Program, 1999-2004 are to:
Specifically, the objectives formulated under the Program seeks to:
The overall strategies as specified under the Program are to:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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
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
Note: It is assumed that the share of imports in total supply remains constant at the 1994 level of 4.2%
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