The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) commenced the celebration of the 60th Fish Conservation Week at the agency’s central office in Quezon City on Monday, September 18, emphasizing the crucial role of the Philippine fisheries sector in the nation’s economic growth.
BFAR National Director Atty. Demosthenes R. Escoto led the celebration with the theme “Masaganang Pangisdaan, Maunlad na Ekonomiya,” which is anchored on President Ferdinand R. Marcos Jr.’s push for the protection and conservation of the country’s natural resources to achieve food security and sustainability.
“Achieving food sustainability in fisheries is a continuous and never-ending process,” Director Escoto said. “Together with allied government agencies, fisherfolk and fish farmers, and other key stakeholders in the industry, the Bureau remains steadfast and committed to our campaign and programs for the protection, conservation, and management of our fisheries and aquatic resources.”
At the opening ceremonies, Director Escoto introduced the Bantay-Dagat Insurance Program, designed to provide essential medical aid and death benefits to qualified C/MFARMC law enforcement officers. BFAR launched the program in partnership with the Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation to recognize the contributions of Bantay Dagat, whose safety and lives are at risk, in safeguarding coastal communities from illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing activities.
BFAR also launched FishRecipes: Lutuing Isda ng mga Mangingisda, an information campaign aimed at promoting fish recipes crafted by fish farmers, fisherfolk, and cooperatives across the country.
The celebration, which coincided with Maritime and Archipelagic Nation Awareness Month, was made livelier by BFAR employees who dressed in aquatic animals and seafood costumes. They also participated in dance and culinary competitions organized by the Bureau.
The culmination of the 60th Fish Conservation Week will take place on Friday, September 22, at the Philippine International Convention Center.
During this event, BFAR will announce the grand winner of Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan: The National Search for Outstanding Coastal Community, an annual competition which encourages local government units to adopt comprehensive policies for the protection and management of their aquatic resources, while recognizing communities that excel in coastal resource management practices. The grand winner was selected for its exceptional dedication to coastal conservation, taking into account five criteria: prohibition of illegal fishing practices, effective solid waste management program, successful implementation of a closed fishing season, protection of mangroves, and preservation of marine protected areas
Simultaneously, BFAR will launch the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency or FishCoRe Project, a seven-year endeavor aimed at enhancing the management of fisheries resources within Fisheries Management Areas 6 and 9, spanning 11 regions and 24 provinces. The FishCoRe Project seeks to bolster fish production and contribute to national economic growth through sustainable fishing practices.
Individuals and organizations that have made substantial contributions to the protection and advancement of the fisheries sector will also be recognized at the Parangal sa mga Kabalikat sa Pangisdaan: Gawad Pagkilala at Pasasalamat.
Various activities will also be conducted throughout the week-long celebration to engage the public in discussions about fisheries conservation and responsible aquatic resource management.
The agency encourages the public to participate in these events. Additional details can be accessed through the official Facebook page of the BFAR Central Office.