The bottom line is to increase the sources and supply of pelagic fish (for food) thus sustain its availability, and lower its market prices, to cushion the impact of rising inflation.
USAid through a partnership with Silliman University and other local non-government organizations is all set to launch the Fish Right Project in Southern Negros.
This was announced by former SU President, Dr. Ben Malayang, who said that apart from the province, a similar initiative will also be launched in the Calamianes Group of Islands and in Coron, both in Palawan.
The Fish Right Project focuses on three goals. The first is to increase enough pelagic fish to address concerns with food security. The second is to wean dependence on fish imports by focusing on best practices that would yield more fish. The third is to balance commercial fishing with environmental protection. The fisherfolks must be in the forefront of sustainable eco-friendly fishing practices.
An initiative of the University of Rhode Islands in the US, the Fish Right Project is designed to improve the number of pelagic fish which is a major source of food for many Filipinos. Pelagic fish can be categorized as coastal and oceanic fish. The said USAid-led project will focus more on coastal pelagic fish which includes local fish such as sardines, galunggong, manulsog, ihalason, and tamarong among others. Increasing the supply would mean a decrease of prices and at a time of inflation, ready access to this resource would be beneficial to the community, Malayang explained.
Governor Roel Degamo, scion of a big family engaged in deep-sea fishing, for his part, has expressed support for this project alongside the provincial board. He vowed to focus on the enhancement of the local fishery code to better respond to the needs of fisherfolks and the larger community as well. He said that he is open to reformulating the code to adopt some of the guidelines outlined by the Fish Right Project for as long as these are applicable to the province’s context. He plans to invite fisherfolks themselves to be part of creating laws for the betterment of the fishery sector particularly in Negros Oriental.