The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), together with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) through Fish Right, conducted a two-day consultation in BFAR Central Office about the development of the Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing Index and Threat Assessment Tool (I-FIT) and the FMA (Fisheries Management Areas) Scale IUUF Assessment.
During the consultation, members from the USAID Fish Right led the gathering and encoding of data and presented the updates on the implementation of I-FIT. These inputs will be used to ensure that the I-FIT remains a robust and evolving tool in the fight against IUU fishing in the country.
Meanwhile, BFAR-FRMD Conservation and Environmental Protection Section presented the current version of the I-FIT as part of the process for developing the project.
The I-FIT is proven to be highly effective in assessing the risks associated with illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the municipal and commercial waters of over 160 municipalities in the country. This tool will then be pilot tested in FMA regions 5 and 6, and will be used for estimating IUUF Risk on FMA by examining the data and results from the I-FIT for municipal fishing and commercial fishing vessels.
Through the development and improvement of the I-FIT, the Bureau aims to assess overall fishing risk from the commercial fishing sector and strengthen its efforts in protecting the country’s marine resources and supporting sustainable fisheries management practices.