Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala said that he has given his full support to the commercial fishing sector in an effort to forge a better partnership with fishery industry leaders, a government press release said.
“I will personally look into the status and current problems of your group,” Alcala told fish industry leaders during a recent meeting, the press release said.
Alcala said that the DA-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the Philippine Fisheries and Development Authority, and other concerned agencies will always include and consult the local fishermen, fish traders, fishing vessel operators and other stakeholders in the crafting of policies and programs in fisheries and aquaculture.
“This way, we promote participation and ensure transparency,” Alcala said.
The DA is set to look into overlapping and interrelated regulations implemented by different national government agencies on commercial fishing vessel operations, the press release said.
“We will also include certification requirements and labor issues,” Alcala said.
DA will also look into the guidelines on fish importation; sanitary and phytosanitary requirements of importing countries; upgrading of fishing ports and post- harvest facilities; and implementation of the National Tuna Management Plan and Republic Act No. 9379.
The agency will also tackle issues on the Handline Fishing Law; negotiation for fishing access to the high seas as well as with the Pacific Island States; compliance with the European Union regulation to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, the press release said.*