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BFAR launches FishCoRe Project to enhance fisheries mgmt, boost fisherfolk livelihoods

CAGAYAN DE ORO CITY (PIA)--Taking a monumental step towards transforming the Philippine fisheries sector, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) launched the Philippine Fisheries and Coastal Resiliency (FishCoRe) Project on September 28, here. The initiative is poised to improve fishery resource management and elevate the value of fishery production in designated Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs).

The FishCoRe Project is set to be implemented in FMAs 6 and 9, covering a vast expanse across 11 regions and 24 provinces. Approximately 26,877 fisherfolk are expected to directly benefit from this seven-year project, spanning from 2023 to 2029, with a substantial budget of P11.42 billion.

BFAR National Director Lawyer Demosthenes Escoto shared the project's objectives, emphasizing its commitment to fortify and make make the country’s fisheries sector resilient through the adoption of an ecosystem-based approach to fisheries management (EAFM). This approach integrates science, knowledge, and technology to promote ecological sustainability, human well-being, and effective governance.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources launches the FishCoRe Project on September 28, 2023, in Cagayan de Oro City. The initiative is poised to improve fishery resource management and elevate the value of fishery production in designated Fisheries Management Areas. (ZRD/PIA-10)

Regional Director Edward Yasay of BFAR-10 elaborated the reformative elements of the project, envisioning increased productivity, value addition for fishery products, higher income, and enhanced employment opportunities.

"It will be pursued in partnership with various national government agencies, science and academe, local government units, and the rest of the fisheries stakeholders," Yasay said.

FMA 9, encompassing Regions 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13, with Region 10 leading the initiative, covers a total area of 2,822,800 hectares. The project will extend its coverage to 11 provinces, including Agusan del Norte, Bohol, Camiguin, Lanao del Norte, Misamis Occidental, Misamis Oriental, Siquijor, Southern Leyte, Surigao del Norte, Zamboanga del Norte, and Zamboanga del Sur.

The FishCoRe Project's comprehensive approach includes the development and implementation of fisheries management policies, the establishment of support facilities for coastal and marine habitat rehabilitation, the enhancement of institutional capacities for strengthened enforcement, the establishment of fisheries infrastructure and facilities, and the provision of livelihood and enterprise development assistance.

Fishery products are displayed during the FishCoRe Project launched on September 28, 2023, in Cagayan de Oro City to showcase the different innovations of the fisherfolk associations in Regions 7, 8, 9, 10, and 13. (RTP/PIA-10)
Jida Aqua Resources' Bangus (Milkfish) in oil from Butuan City is one of the products displayed during the FishCoRe Project Launch on September 28, 2023, in Cagayan de Oro City. (RTP/PIA-10)

The project has three components, namely: 1) fisheries and coastal resilient resource planning and management, which focused on strategic planning and management for sustainable fisheries and coastal resources; 2) modern and resilient livelihood investments, which are geared towards modernizing and diversifying livelihood opportunities for fisherfolk; and 3) support for project implementation and management, which ensures effective execution through comprehensive support.

World Bank Task Team Leader Jingjie Chu expressed excitement about FishCoRe, highlighting it as a significant milestone in the World Bank's engagement with the blue economy.

"The design of FishCoRe is built on strong analytical work and intensive consultation with key stakeholders, which lays out the critical challenges of the sector, such as overfishing, low sanitation conditions, limited management capacity, and restricted infrastructure," Chu added.

For his part, Escoto emphasized the need for collective commitment and dedication to the project, stating, "This project marks a new chapter for the fisheries sector. Certainly, there will be challenges, but let us not be hindered. Instead, let us work together and double our efforts to advance the fisheries industry and ensure that there is always sufficient and available fish and a profitable livelihood."

With the FishCoRe Project, BFAR aims to revolutionize fisheries management and uplift the lives of thousands of fisherfolk, contributing to the sustainable development of coastal and marine resources in the Philippines. (RTP/PIA-10)

World Bank Task Team Leader Jingjie Chu signs the pledge of commitment for the FishCoRe Project, indicating her dedication to the sustainable management of the country's coastal and fisheries resources, the empowerment of coastal communities, and the preservation of marine ecosystems. (ZRD/PIA-10)
Guests during the FishCore Project Launch get to taste the fishery products of FMA 9 areas, which include squid crackers, tuna chunks, fish in oil, and more. (ZRD/PIA-10)

About the Author

Recthie Paculba

Regional Editor

Region 10

Camiguin Information Center Manager 

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