Declining fisheries output worries small fishermen
A group of small fishermen is worried that they will be “at the losing end” of the country’s declining fisheries output, prompting them to seek for “extensive and systematic” solution from the government.
In a statement, the Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) said that the decline of fisheries production “manifests poverty and hunger among the fisherfolk”.
“The continued decline of fisheries output over the years obviously pose impacts to the small fishers as they are the subsector seen to have a low productivity,” PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap said in a statement.
Latest Fisheries Situation Report of the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) showed a significant decline of fisheries production for the first quarter of this year.
During the period, fisheries output fell to 980.7 thousand metric tons (MT), lower by 3.2 percent from its 2019 same quarter production of 1.01 million MT.
Municipal fisheries subsector, which comprised 26.5 percent of the total fisheries production, registered a 3.4 percent decrease as catch dropped to 260.05 thousand MT during this year’s first quarter, from 269.18 thousand MT output a year ago.
“Small and subsistence fisherfolks are already battered with various issues such as costly production due to policies that induce inflation, degrading marine and aquatic resources caused by exploitation of big-fishing firms on municipal waters, among others,” Hicap said.
“The fisherfolk sector is still considered as the country’s poorest among the poor, and yet there is no significant program for our fisherfolk that will foster and develop their mode of production. Worst, they are often threatened with displacement due to privatization and conversion projects in coastal communities,” he added.
According to him, the dramatic decrease of fishing output reflects the government’s failure to uplift the lives of the fisherfolk in the country.