No ban: Marcos clarifies plan vs overfishing

Alexis Romero - The Philippine Star
No ban: Marcos clarifies plan vs overfishing
Warm welcome in Bicol: President Marcos interacts with Bicolanos as he leads the launching of the Bagong Pilipinas Serbisyo Fair, a government initiative which aims to bring essential services closer to the public, in Nabua, Camarines Sur yesterday.
Krizjohn Rosales

MANILA, Philippines — The government is not planning to implement a fishing ban, President Marcos clarified yesterday, saying what he meant in making such an announcement earlier was prohibiting the catching of fish in areas where they are breeding.

Earlier this week, Marcos said there should be no fishing in areas where fishes are being bred, explaining that such a restriction will increase the country’s fish stock. His statement was construed as a plan to impose a fishing ban.

But in a media interview in Camarines Sur, Marcos admitted that he did not explain well the plan to increase the fish population.

“My explanation was not good. I was not referring to a fishing ban. What I was saying was we should not fish in breeding so that the fish will increase,” the President said in Filipino.

“But there will be no fishing ban. People will lose their livelihood,” he stressed.

Marcos said he had spoken with fishermen who informed him that their catch had dwindled, hence the need to take care of breeding grounds.

“Let us not enter those areas so our fishermen will catch many fishes,” the Chief Executive added.

Last Tuesday, Marcos, also the agriculture secretary, cited the importance of improving the country’s fisheries sector as he vowed to put up more cold storage facilities to prevent spoilage. He noted that up to 30 percent of the fish catch is degraded or damaged.

“We will come up with an area for processing. That is our plan for fisheries,” he said in an interview in Zamboanga City.

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