Fishers seek ‘fishing guidelines’ amid the Metro Manila lockdown

Fishers seek ‘fishing guidelines’ amid the Metro Manila lockdown

Manila, Philippines — “How would the total lockdown in Metro Manila affect the daily fishing activities of the fisherfolk in Manila Bay, especially those coming from Cavite and Central Luzon?” This was the question raised by the national fishers group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA), seeking a ‘clear and comprehensive fishing guidelines’ in Manila Bay while the lockdown in the entire Metro Manila is in effect.

PAMALAKAYA said the lockdown policy does not indicate on how would the fisherfolk from Cavite and some provinces in Central Luzon be affected as sea travel in and out of Metro Manila will be prohibited as a preemptive measure to the spread of Corona Virus Disease 2019 (CoVid-19).

“Our members, most especially in Cavite, are worrying that the lockdown includes prohibition of any fishing activity within the Manila Bay. It spells disaster for small fisherfolk in Cavite and Central Luzon as fishing within their respective municipal waters is not enough due to deterioration of marine resources; so they have to venture farther to catch more and earn enough,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson said in a statement.

Hicap, a resident fisherman in Rosario, Cavite, also part of Manila Bay, said fishermen were asking for clarity if fishing will be banned during the lockdown. Moreover, they fear that their fish products directly transported to fish ports located and supplied in Metro Manila will be banned.

“If catch are banned to enter Metro Manila, it would trigger dramatic fall in farm gate prices in its origin, that will impact small fishermen. On the retail side in Metro Manila, it will push up prices. We are already warning the government not to implicate the fishing activity in the lockdown as it might undermine the supply and prices of fish in Metro Manila,”

“We reiterate our position that a militarist approach in a form of total lockdown will resolve nothing, but would only impair the day-to-day lives of the Filipinos,” ended Hicap. ###

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