Private sector outlines plan to protect Coral Triangle
More than 160 delegates gathered last week in the Philippine capital Manila for the Coral Triangle Business Summit to reach agreements on how their industries could contribute to the protection of the Coral Triangle and the 120 million livelihoods that depend on its marine resources.
Participants included leaders from tuna and live reef fish businesses, airlines and resort owners, as well as government ministers and officials, and non-government organizations.
In the seafood sector, fishing operators and buyers agreed to address the problem of overcapacity and overfishing through a number of measures including ensuring that fish are not sourced from illegal operations as well as implementing catch and trade documentation schemes to ensure traceability.
Participants also agreed to promote low carbon fish production methods and trade practices.
Martin Brugman, president of global seafood supplier Culimer B.V said one of the issues discussed was how adding value to fish could help operators to better address the problem of overfishing.
“Ultra-low temperature production of tuna for example allows for better quality fish when it’s landed and helps fishermen get by taking less fish from the oceans but making more dollars,” said Mr Brugman.
Cebu Air used the summit to significantly extend its program to help protect Apo Reef in the Philippines. ‘Bright skies for Juan’ is an initiative that allows consumers to donate money with each flight to a WWF climate change adaptation program to protect the Philippines’ largest coral reef.
Head of WWF’s Coral Triangle Program Dr Lida Pet Soede said the summit had been a huge success and had laid some strong foundations for greater participation of the private sector in the protection of the Coral Triangle.
“This first ever Coral Triangle Business Summit has been a great success and the private sector has shown it is willing to take greater responsibility for the millions of livelihoods that depend on the health of the marine environment in this part of the world,” Dr Pet Soede said.
The Summit was organized by the Philippine Department of Agriculture and the Philippine Department of the Environment and Natural Resources in collaboration with WWF and with the support of USAID.