ILOILO CITY, (PNA) — Media practitioners from the three regions of Visayas were asked by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to sustain reporting on environmental issues that would affect the fishery sector.
This, BFAR National Director Atty. Asis G. Perez urged in Monday’s Visayas–wide Environmental Media Conference on board government multi-mission vessel M/V DA-BFAR docked in the port of Iloilo City and participated in by at least 20 media practitioners from Region 6, 7 and 8.
“We recognized the role of media, hence we provide practitioners from the three regions with information on fisheries projects and to assist them in critically analyzing environmental information,” Perez said.
Today’s conference is the last of three series, after conducting the same activity for Luzon and Mindanao practitioners earlier.
This initiative was led by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and non-government organization Tanggol Kalikasan.
“We believed that media needs to get the right information for them to carry out the right message. This way, the media practitioners will not merely be transmitters of information but become partners in the bureau’s campaign,” Perez said.
Media practitioners identified several environmental issues which have direct and indirect impacts to fishing. These are mining, violations to Solid Waste Management Act, wildlife trading, timber poaching, jurisdiction issues between Department of Environment and Natural Resources and BFAR, poor response to marine mammal stranding, illegal fishing.
Other issues tagged were overfishing, oil spill, mangrove destruction, dynamite fishing, pollution, poaching in municipal waters, informal settlers in protected areas, water shortage, “kaingin”, wildlife trading and river siltation.
The media group and BFAR have outlined strategies to support the fishery sector.
BFAR is an agency under the Department of Agriculture with about 1,200 regular employees nationwide, tasked to oversee the 220 million hectares of Philippine seawaters. The bureau’s budget rose to P4.6 billion in 2013 from P1.6 billion in 2010.
The country’s seawater is seven times larger than the 29,817 hectares of land area.