MEGA Prime Foods, Inc. (MPFI) said science-based research must be done to support the call of the Marcos administration to revise the Fisheries Code of the Philippines.

Malcolm Tiu Lim, chief technical and innovations officer at MPFI, told reporters on Wednesday that the first step is for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to make a scientific study.

“For me, what really has to happen first is we have to make a scientific-based study to see where really the fish are, whether it is in the 15 kilometers or closer to the 15-kilometer area,” Mr. Lim said.

In his second State of the Nation Address, President Ferdinand R. Marcos, Jr. said the Fisheries Code must be revised to incorporate and strengthen science-based analysis and determination of fishing areas.

“This approach will protect both the interests of our fisherfolk and our fisheries and aquatic resources,” he said.

“To this end, we will seek the support of Congress to amend the Code to guarantee sustainable development of our fisheries sector in harmony with environmental balance,” he added.

Mr. Lim said the company would partner with BFAR in conducting the study, but said based on its experience “there are more fish in between that 15-kilometer radius.”

Michelle Tiu Lim-Chan, president and chief executive officer of MPFI, said the company is awaiting details of what the amendment will be.

“We do not have details yet about the new amendment, so we will just need to wait for the BFAR to tell us. But right now, we are strictly monitoring and strictly abiding with the Fisheries Law,” she said.

“We will support the President whatever he thinks that the fisheries need but I am sure he will also be fair to all businesses and also the fisher folks,” she added.  — Justine Irish D. Tabile