The Philippines fisheries is one of the most exploited resources in Southeast Asia. Majority of the coastal areas are depleted and most marine habitats are damaged. Marine environmental issues often identified are destruction of sensitive coastal ecosystems i.e. coral reefs, seagrass beds, and mangroves; overexploitation of fishery resources and destructive fishing practices which indirectly affects livelihood of sustenance fisherfolk. These factors have deleterious, and sometimes irreversible, negative impacts on fisheries, and thereby endanger sustainable fisheries resource utilization.
The importance of resource management is more pronounced in developing countries like the Philippines, where fisheries play a dominant role as a source of food, employment and export earnings. Coastal resource management (CRM) is one of the major strategies to address the varied, wide-ranging and often interconnected issues that impact coastal areas. In fisheries, CRM is synonymous to ecosystem approach to fisheries management (EAFM). It is best accomplished in a participatory manner of planning, implementing and monitoring sustainable uses of coastal/marine resources through collective action and sound decision-making. RA 8550: The Fisheries Code of 1998 and RA10654: RA 8550 as Amended are the legal frameworks for such strategy.
There are more than 900 coastal municipalities and cities with varied degrees of coastal resource management efforts. Aware of the challenges in sustainably managing coastal/marine resources in an archipelago such as the Philippines, President Rodrigo R. Duterte through the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) advocates, as one of his banner programs, the Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan (MMK). MMK program aims to promote fisheries protection and conservation, centers on the significance of sustainably managing our fisheries and aquatic resources, and promotes stakeholder engagement to the cause of resource protection and conservation.
The Search for Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan aims to recognize outstanding initiatives and contributions of coastal municipalities/cities to sustainable fisheries development.
1. To identify coastal municipalities/cities that:
a. Have exemplary initiatives and accomplishment in the effort against illegal fishing and observance of ecosystem approach to fisheries resource
management measures such as off-fishing season and ban on the collection of endangered species, among others;
b. Have established, formulated and adopted Marine Protected Area (MPA) or Fisheries Managed Area;
c. Have kept coastal waters clean of domestic solid and/or liquid wastes, garbage or industrial effluence flowing to the sea as a result of innovative
waste management or other programs;
d. Have a successful mangrove protection and rehabilitation program;
e. Have accomplished or implemented unique or innovative operational schemes on coastal resource management;
f. Have initiated programs with LGU-funded budget for coastal/fisheries resource management;
2. To document the best practices and strategies of these outstanding municipalities/cities and promote their replication or adoption among other LGUs
3. To encourage other LGUs to:
a. Adopt best practices and promote awareness on conservation, management and sustainable development of the municipal waters and provide
sufficient funds for these endeavors;
b. Encourage active participation on the implementation of Municipal Fisheries Ordinance, RA 8550 as amended by RA 10654 and other pertinent laws;
c. Enhance partnership between LGUs, other line agencies and the fishing community in the management of fisheries and coastal resources.