- The Philippines introduced a new fisheries management framework to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in 2019.
Under the fisheries management area (FMA) mechanism, the Philippines’ seascapes are delineated into 12 areas with each co-managed by the country’s fisheries agency and a network of local governments.
- The program has seen drastic delays in its implementation, with only six scientific advisory groups established out of the 12. Experts and various groups say the delay was in part due to the COVID-19 pandemic, which saw the reallocation of state funds, and a lack of action from local mayors.
- Amid the slow rollout of the framework, artisanal fishers say they are threatened by a new bill in Congress that seeks to allow domestic commercial vessels within municipal waters, a practice that is banned under the prevailing fisheries law.
BANNER IMAGE: A commercial fishing boat at night in Coron, Palawan. Image by Ouie Sanchez/USAID