PH aims for sustainable fishing with a loan of $ 220 million from the World Bank

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The World Bank will provide a loan of $ 220 million to the Philippines next year to improve the management of the country’s marine resources by controlling harvesting in some of its fishing areas while supporting livelihoods.

Documents showed that the board of directors of the World Bank, based in Washington, was to approve on July 30, 2021 the coastal fishing and resilience project aimed at “improving the management of coastal fisheries resources, increasing the value of fish production and increase income derived from fishing in coastal areas. communities, in selected fisheries management areas.

The Ministry of Finance was borrowing from the World Bank on behalf of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) of the Ministry of Agriculture, which would implement the project over a seven-year period.

“Improved management of fishery resources forms the basis of a sustainable fishing industry, without which investment in productive capacity generally threatens, rather than improves value at long term of fish production. [The] Improving the value generated by fishing helps both justify the expense of tighter harvest controls and mitigate their short-term impact through the provision of alternative livelihoods and sustainable businesses ”, the World Bank said.

According to the World Bank, the Philippines’ fishing grounds are currently divided into 12 management zones and demarcated according to administrative divisions, range and distribution of fish stocks and structure of fisheries.

BFAR’s Fisheries and Coastal Resilience Project would be implemented in two to four of these fisheries management areas, which have “a diverse type of coastal and marine ecosystems, including coral reefs, seagrass and mangroves” .

In addition, the World Bank said the government would likely select fisheries management areas populated by “indigenous peoples, vulnerable and marginalized coastal communities, who are generally among the poorest population groups” for the project.

These groups typically depend on subsistence fishing and lack financial support and technical know-how, according to the World Bank.

“Science policies based on benchmarks and harvest control rules will be implemented in fisheries management areas, which will serve as standards for enforcing adjustments in harvest and use of stocks, and for determine how much, what size and where fish should be caught or fishing gear should be allowed or regulated, respectively, ”the World Bank said.

The World Bank said crop control measures would be implemented jointly by BFAR and local government units. —BEN O. DE VERA

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