Cebu News

Voters urged: Elect leaders that give importance to seas

Mitchelle L. Palaubsanon - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - Greenpeace Philippines is urging Filipinos to make sure 2016 will continue to be a good year for oceans by electing leaders who will put the sea and the fishers at the heart of their governance programs.

Greenpeace Philippines ocean campaigner Vince Cinches said that despite being a nation surrounded by waters with more than 50 percent of daily animal protein requirements coming from the sea, a quick scan of the platforms of presidential candidates showed the glaring absence of programs for the fisherfolk and the sea.

Cinches said it is either that the presidentiables can’t comprehend the vastness of sea-related issues or they are simply ignoring the important role a healthy ocean plays on food security, poverty alleviation, and national development.

Cinches said that these past few days, the public saw the country’s premier hotels and restaurants inviting their patrons to join them in saving the oceans by scrutinizing the seafood that are served and consumed.

The decision of the hospitality industry to serve sustainable seafood came after years of relentless campaigning to show that emptying our oceans of life is obviously not the way to go, Cinches said in a statement.

He said sustainable Seafood Week not only makes smart business sense, but is also important to gain understanding that the fish we eat need to be sourced through means that allow them to still be in abundant numbers in our waters.

Cinches said the first seafood week happened at an opportune time as the country prepares for national elections.

“The national election is a good time to demand our leaders for plans on addressing the problem of too much large commercial boats robbing municipal fishers of chances for a good catch, promoting food insecurity, and pushing poverty incidence among coastal people to the highest levels,” he said further. — (FREEMAN)

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