By Allen Estabillo
General Santos, Philippines.- The government and tuna industry stakeholders will launch here on Thursday the newly-completed enhanced national management plan for tuna fisheries.
The updated National Tuna Management Plan (NTMP) of 2018 will be formally presented to the industry and concerned sectors by the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) after more than two years of studies and consultations.
Rosanna Bernadette Contreras, executive director of the Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAII), said Tuesday the launching will highlight the opening ceremony of the three-day 20th National Tuna Congress.
It will be graced by DA Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, Special Assistant to the President Christopher Lawrence “Bong” Go and DA Undersecretary for Fisheries Eduardo Gongona.
DA and BFAR initially presented to the industry the draft of the management plan at the 19th Congress last year.
“This is a product of gruelling two years of stakeholder consultations and deliberations,” Contreras said in a press conference.
She said the industry is fully supporting the implementation of the NTMP, which mainly aims to establish “a sustainably-managed and equitably used tuna fisheries, which promotes responsible fishing practices and trade of tuna products leading towards the development of Philippine tuna industry.”
The 2018 NTMP took off from the initial version of the plan, which was completed by DA-BFAR in 2012.
BFAR, through its technical working group for tuna, collaborated with SFFAII for the updating of the plan to address various fishing-related concerns and ensure sustained growth for the industry.
In a briefer, SFFAII said its main strategies are the determination of new fishing areas and expansion of access to fishing grounds, strengthening of measures against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and implementation of science-based conservation and management measures.
It said the plan also promotes the use of appropriate and updated fishing technologies, opening of more livelihood opportunities for the fisherfolk and the improvement of reporting compliance and maintenance of database for tuna catches.