BFAR launches fish species management forum

BOTOLAN, Zambales — The Fisheries Management Area 6-Science Advisory Group of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources conducted a stakeholders’ consultation on fisheries Harvest Control Rules and Harvest Control Measures on demersal and small pelagic fish species.

The consultation was held at the Provincial Fisheries Office here that aims to promote sustainable fishing practices and protect marine ecosystems. It was attended by representatives of the local government unit, fishing communities and municipal and commercial stakeholders.

According to BFAR regional director Wilfredo Cruz, the goal of the consultation is to gather input on the development of HCR that would govern fishing activities in the FMA6 to ensure that they are conducted in a manner that is sustainable and safe for the marine ecosystems.

During the meeting, participants discussed the many challenging issues related to fisheries management, including the need for improved data collection and analysis, the use of new technologies to monitor fishing activities, and the establishment of clear guidelines for fishing practices.

Cruz called for more stringent regulations to protect vulnerable marine species that would impact the fishing community’s livelihoods as he stressed the need for a balanced approach that takes into account the economic benefits of fishing while also protecting the environment. He also noted that the development of the new rules would require close collaboration between various stakeholders and would take into account the unique characteristics of the West Philippine Sea fisheries.

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