Tuna purse-seine fishing, one of the causes of overfishing in Philippine waters.-->
By MAR S ARGUELLES
LEGAZPI CITY: Overfishing is the major threat in the marine ecosystem that endangers not only the fishing industry but also the livelihood and food security of a community, this according to an environmental advocate of Greenpeace Philippines.
Vince Cinches, Greenpeace Southeast Asia oceans campaigner, said illegal and unregulated fishing practices especially those used by large fishing vessels contribute to the depletion of marine resources.
Cinches said these fishing vessels could catch a large volume of fish in a time that is far more than the total weekly catch of ordinary fishers.
Cinches claimed that the impact of these practices along with other unsustainable fishing mechanisms has been affecting our local fish supply.
He also noted the continuous soaring of prices but deteriorating quality and quantity of fish catch.
At a media forum recently here, he said that ironically the Philippines is an archipelagic country with around 1,707 islands but because of overfishing the fish supply from the country’s ocean has diminished.
“Our fishes these days are getting smaller since the larger ones are gone. Even the smaller and younger ones that shouldn’t have been caught are sold,” Cinches said.
He said untargeted capture of varied marine species is also a threat that needs to be addressed
Greenpeace reports said the practice kills around 100 million marine animals each year.
In other countries captured species, including turtles and dolphins which are now considered extinct, are discarded dead or dying but in the Philippines they are sold as food.
Greenpeace Philippines has visited the coastal waters of Burias and Ticao Pass in Masbate province to gather data for scientific and objective intervention on the problems threatening the marine ecosystem.
“The visit is part of the peaceful global campaign set out by the Greenpeace to protect and preserve our oceans. We are advocating for changes to ensure that our needs are met without harming our environment,” said Cinches.
Also part of the team’s local advocacy is a public forum on Overfishing and Ocean Protection on October 25 in Donsol, Sorsogon.
Greenpeace is a worldwide organization that advocates protection and conservation of environment. – Bicol Mail