July 06, 2011
INDUSTRY SUPPORT- BFAR director Atty. Asis G. Perez (5th from L, front row) receives the expression of support from the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Fisheries Inc. president Alex Escaño (6th from L) and Phillip Ong (7th from L) who chairs the Fisheries Committee. Representatives of the various fisheries industry organizations were present during a courtesy call at the BFAR conference room in Quezon City where the private sector presented areas for collaboration in consideration of the new thrusts and programs of the BFAR which centers on sustainable production, resource conservation and enhancement of competitiveness.
Commercial fisheries sector vows support to BFAR’s new thrusts
Members of the Philippine Chamber of Agriculture and Food, Inc. or PCAFI representing various sub-sectors of the fisheries industry made a courtesy call on Atty. Asis G. Perez, the new Director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources yesterday at the BFAR Central Office. Alejandro T. Escaño, PCAFI Chairman said the visit was made to express their support to the new program thrusts of BFAR and lay out plans on how they could collaborate with BFAR.
PCAFI indicated its support to the resource conservation approach to increasing fish production, restoration of degraded coastal waters including mangrove reforestation, strengthening of R & D capability and welcomed the BFAR Director’s move towards streamlining bureaucratic procedures, transparency, consistency and pro-active approach. The group also congratulated the BFAR Director for finally pushing for the construction of a BFAR building.
Philip Ong, chair of the PCAFI Fisheries Committee said that by organizing the various fisheries subsectors into one group they can more actively participate in the developmental programs of the government. He said that the biggest challenge in the global market today is the stringent requirements for food safety and resource sustainability which require certification from the point where the products are grown and harvested or caught up to the time it is to be distributed to consumers. “The various industry players have to start talking to each other seriously this time in order to effectively and efficiently produce what the markets require”, Ong said.
During their meeting with BFAR director Atty. Asis Perez, the group indicated that they are willing to collaborate with BFAR in easing up fishing pressure in Philippine waters while supplying Filipinos with affordable fish products. This can be done by engaging in sustainable aquaculture production; and encouraging cooperation between commercial and municipal fishers especially in areas which can still sustain fishing compliant to the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries.
They added that they would also cooperate in expanding present market and developing new markets for seafood products. They will also continue to develop new seafood products that would comply to acceptable international standards and in making local produce globally competitive through consistency in quality and volume at a cost that is lower than imported fishery products of the same kind.
Also included in their action agenda is to push for legislative reforms that shall make Philippine fisheries and fisheries products competitive globally.
Members of PCAFI in the Fisheries sector consist of aquaculture companies engaged in the propagation of milkfish, tilapia and other high value marine fish; aquaculture companies engaged in grow-out; deep sea fishing companies; aquaculture feed companies; fish cage designer and fabricator; ornamental fish companies; fish processing and canning companies; seafood exporters; seafood marketing companies and consignacion.