Greenpeace, PaNaGaT network back DA’s proposed actions vs LGU officials on illegal fishing

Press release - January 7, 2017
Manila, 07 January 2017 - In reaction to the Department of Agriculture’s (DA) urgent call to ‘shame’ and suspend local government officials who will fail to stop illegal fishing in their respective areas, Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner of Greenpeace Southeast Asia – Philippines, said:

“Greenpeace supports the urgent proposal of DA Secretary Manny Piñol seeking to penalize erring LGU officials who fail to end destructive and illegal fishing in their respective municipal waters [1]. We are also calling on the DA leadership to prioritize municipalities within the 10 fishing grounds identified by the National Stocks Assessment Program of the DA as overfished or heavily exploited, and to give an ambitious timeframe of six months to allow these fishing grounds to recover.

“To address the high poverty incidence among municipal fishers and coastal communities due to destructive and illegal fishing, it is important for the Duterte administration to allocate significant and necessary resources from the national budget to enable a multi-stakeholder body to comprehensively end the scourge of unsustainable fishing practices in the country,” Cinches added.

A network of fisheries organizations, Pangingisda Natin Gawing Tama (PaNaGaT) commended the DA on this move, and urged the agency to work with the Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) and establish a transparent reporting mechanism to ensure swift justice against erring officials [2].

“We strongly urge DA Secretary Manny Pinol to effectively enforce RA 10564 initiate other needed reforms in order to further develop a sustained and equitable fishing industry in the Philippines. We believe that coastal and marine resources should be managed in an ecosystem-based approach where areas and habitats are interconnected. Illegal fishing can be curbed if cooperation between and among local governments is promoted. In addition, we ask the DA to strengthen local fishery law enforcement groups or the volunteer Bantay Dagat by providing equipment, training and social protection such as insurance and other social benefits, among others,” PaNaGat said in a Declaration of Support it released today.

Notes to the editor:

[1] http://news.pia.gov.ph/article/view/1141483540225/da-chief-wages-war-against-illegal-fishing

[2] Declaration of support to the department of agriculture on its proposal to suspend local government officials who fail to stop illegal fishing (PDF attached)

Media Contacts:

Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines
Tel: +63949 889 1336 | Email:

Angelica Carballo-Pago, Media Campaigner, Greenpeace Southeast Asia-Philippines
Tel: +63949 889 1332 | Email:

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