DA-BFAR HELD A HALF DAY ORIENTATION AMONG MARKET MASTERS IN METRO MANILA
In light of pressing reports circulating top social media platforms concerning the illegal selling of protected fish species in several major wet markets in the country, the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) held a half-day orientation among market masters in Metro Manila earlier this morning, at DA Compound, Elliptical Road in Quezon City.
Organized by the DA-BFAR’s Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit (IFCU) in collaboration with the Fisheries Industry Development and Support Services Division (FIDSSD) and the Fisheries Regulatory and Licensing Division (FRLD), the orientation aimed to heighten the awareness of the masses on the prohibition and served as a venue where experts can effectively share information to the participants, such as the list of protected fish species, the laws and policies, and the corresponding fines and penalties a violator may face.
Likewise, according to DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona, the orientation is still part of the relentless campaign of the government to counter illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) which is included in DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol’s 10 Basic Foundations of a Sound Agriculture and Fisheries Program.
While the Bureau is intensifying its information, education, and communication (IEC) campaigns to combat this issue, it recognizes the vital role of the market masters in the fulfilment of this goal.
“You may be our partners only in the fisheries business sector now, but we believe that you can also be one of the government’s strongest allies in the fight against IUUF in the country, especially of protected fish species, by breaking the chain of illegal activities and reporting them to us,” said Usec. Gongona.
Apart from the talks, Usec. Gongona also distributed “Hindi Masarap ang Bawal” posters to market masters. Developed and diffused into a comprehensible and visually captivating way, market masters were encouraged to post them in their respective areas, as it will aid both the vendors and buyers in familiarizing the list of prohibited fish species.