Fisherfolk group demands the release of the 9 arrested Filipino fishers in Eritrea
Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya-Pilipinas) demands the immediate release of the nine Filipino fishers who were arrested in Eritrea.
Eritrean Coast Guards have arrested nine Filipino fishermen yesterday after being caught fishing in the country’s territorial waters. The nine fishermen came from Saudi Arabia and crossed the boundary of the North African State.
In a statement, Pamalakaya appeals to the Eritrean Government to release the nine Filipino fishers for they are only the victims of the anti-fisherfolk policies in their own country.
“It is so ironic that we are an archipelagic country, rich in marine resources yet Filipino fishers are forced to go faraway places where there is no government protection and their human rights are violated.” Salvador France, Pamalakaya vice-chairperson said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group blamed the Fisheries Code of 1998, a fisheries law in the country, which is the main culprit why fishers remain poorest among the poor for 18 consecutive years.
“This fisheries law is the reason why Filipino fishers are discouraged to fish in their own country and forced to migrate in order to support their families’ everyday lives.”
“We humbly appeal to the good government of Eritrea to release our nine Filipino fishers for their families are only depending on them.” France said.
Pamalakaya also urged the Philippine Government to immediately do a concrete action for the release of our fishers. ###