Sustainable Fisheries, Poverty Alleviation and Marine Ecosystems

Geographical location:

Asia/Pacific > Southeast Asia > Philippines

Fishing boat. Philippines.
© WWF Philippines / Lory Tan

Summary

The project is focused on poverty and environment linkages i.e. ways in which marine fisheries strategies can contribute to poverty alleviation and also conservation.

Background

Fisheries is an important component of the agriculture sector in the country contributing 4.3% of the gross domestic product (GDP) and 18% of gross-value added. Fisheries provide livelihood to about 1 million individuals or 5% of the country’s labor force. Exports of fishery products reached 172,000 million ton valued at USD 578 million in 1994. Fish consumption in the Philippines is high at 28.5 kg/capita/year. Fish comprise 50-60% of the protein diet of Filipinos. Overfishing, illegal fishing, habitat degradation and poverty are the main challenges confronting the sector.

Integrated coastal zone management schemes have been implemented, among others, in 12 selected coastal areas under the Asian Development Bank (ADB) funded Philippines Fisheries Sector Programme (1991-1997). With the passage of the Local Government Code in 1991 and the Fisheries Code in 1997, coastal and fisheries management is now devolved to local government units and local communities.

Objectives

Find ways to enhance implementation of marine conservation and sustainable fisheries components as part of the national development strategies in the context of devolution and participatory management of coastal resources.

Solution

The current ADB-funded Fisheries Resource Management Programme is the second phase of the programme anchored on this new fishery management paradigm. Many local and successful initiatives have sprouted all over the country. Participatory schemes that developed knowledge and capability of stakeholders and local governments to manage their resources have been initiated successfully, but require wider replication and continued support.

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