By the Philippine News Agency
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will boost its nationwide coastal resource protection and conservation advocacy campaign to help improve fisheries in the country.
BFAR will lead a series of monthly coastal cleanups in Regions 3 and 4-A to better advocate care of water and other coastal resources, the agency’s information officer Mary Joyce Kipte said.
“Such resources are vital to fisheries production,” she said.
Kipte said BFAR’s cleanup series will commence Wednesday (June 20) in Region 4-A’s Cavite province along polluted Manila Bay, a source of fishery produce for Metro Manila.
“Succeeding cleanups will be in strategic sites BFAR identified and will announce soon,” she said.
Kipte said the planned cleanups support BFAR’s Manila Bay: Gawing MMK (Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan)! program on sustainably managing the country’s aquatic resources.
The cleanups are also aligned with Supreme Court’s continuing order for BFAR’s mother unit Department of Agriculture and other agencies to rehabilitate, restore and conserve Manila Bay, she said.
Experts said coastal ecosystems help support communities that rely on these for food and livelihood. Coastal ecosystems like coral reefs, mangroves and seagrass serve as habitat of various fish species, they noted.
Polluting and damaging the ecosystems by dumping solid waste and untreated discharges in waterways affect provision of such ecological service, they noted.
According to Kipte, BFAR will spearhead the monthly cleanups until September this year as the country observes the annual International Coastal Cleanup (ICC) Day.
BFAR targets to present in that event youth volunteers who will continue carrying out the cleanup activities. It is also coordinating with local government units regarding the formation of local youth volunteer groups that will join the cleanup activities.
Proclamation 470 series of 2003 declared the third Saturday of September each year as ICC Day in observance of global coastal cleanup celebrations.