BY MARCHEL P. ESPINA
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Western Visayas recognized Sipalay City and Hinobaan in Negros Occidental, and Culasi town in Antique, for their coastal fisheries protection and management programs.
Sipalay, known as the Jewel of the South, is the 2019 regional winner of BFAR’s banner program on “Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan” in the region.
It will receive a plaque of recognition and P2 million worth of fisheries livelihood projects, while Hinobaan, in second place, will receive a plaque and P1 million worth of projects.
Culasi, in third place, will get a plaque and P500,000 worth of projects.
The BFAR program recognized LGUs with exemplary coastal resources management and employing an ecosystem approach to fisheries management following five criteria.
These are combating illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing; observance of closed fishing seasons; establishment and management of Marine Protected Areas or network of MPAs; maintaining clean coastal waters without domestic and industrial wastes; and effective mangrove protection and rehabilitation program.
Remia Aparri, BFAR Region 6 director, said she is enjoining the public to “be resolute stewards of our fisheries resources.”
Meanwhile, BFAR Region 6 kicked off virtually the 57th Fish Conservation Week in Western Visayas yesterday.
Aparri said that this year’s celebration is a call for unity for Filipinos to preserve, conserve, and protect coastal and marine resources to ensure availability of food, especially in the midst of the health and economic crisis.
“I hope that the array of information and activities in store for you in this weeklong celebration can touch one’s heart, one’s mind, and one’s decision to accept the challenge in this time of pandemic to support (conservation efforts) for a bountiful harvest of fish for today and fish for the future generation,” she said in her opening message.*