OCEANA Philippines called on the government to fully implement the National Sardines Management Plan with post-harvest facilities and support for fisherfolk.

In a statement, the non-government organization (NGO) urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and local government units to build more such infrastructure and support fisherfolk in bringing their product to market.

Oceana Vice-President Gloria Estenzo Ramos said that fisherfolk will benefit from keeping spoilage to a minimum and increasing incomes by adding value to the basic sardine product.

“Overfishing and decline of the fish population translate to food security issues that need to be addressed. One of the immediate measures is the implementation of the national plan for sardines,” she added.

Ms. Ramos said that the plan calls for science-based measures and policies for all 12 Fisheries Management Areas (FMAs).

She added that the management plan recognizes the variation in conditions in the marine ecosystem covered by the FMAs.

“In doing so, the plan could achieve conservation, sustainable use, and fair sharing of benefits in our sardine resources,” she said. — Adrian H. Halili