FISH harvests are declining due to reclamation and dredging projects along the Cavite coast, according to Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya), an association of fisherfolk.
In a Viber message on Monday, the group said the fishery along Manila Bay has suffered due to the adverse ecological impact from dredging and reclamation.
It said high fuel and salt prices have also hampered production.
Additionally, fisherfolk who dry their catch have also been challenged by unpredictable weather
Pamalakaya sought subsidies from the government for fish drying as well as post-harvest facilities.
Nazario C. Briguera, spokesperson for the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, said the bureau is in discussions with the association on possible assistance.
“Early this year, we had engaged them in a dialogue to discuss the different possible interventions for the affected fisherfolk,” he said in a Viber message.
Pamalakaya said it is in the process of submitting a list of members eligible for aid and is awaiting the actual delivery of support.
The group reiterated its call for the suspension of reclamation and dredging to restore the fishery.
Citing the Philippine Reclamation Authority, the association said there are 187 ongoing reclamation projects nationwide.
Environment Secretary Maria Antonia Yulo-Loyzaga said during a briefing on World Environment Day on June 5 that her department is reviewing the permits issued for various projects.
“We’re reviewing what had already been permitted. We’re trying to understand how the lessons learned from these activities can actually inform actions and policies moving forward,” she said. — Sheldeen Joy Talavera