Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Greenpeace says Philippine seas is facing an unprecedented crisis

Samar News (Philippines): Climate change, ocean pollution, and overfishing threaten the Philippines’ stature as the leader in global marine biodiversity, and are already affecting communities that rely on rich marine ecosystems for food.

At a community conference held at the Municipal Hall of Donsol, Sorsogon, Greenpeace today expressed alarm over the unprecedented destruction of the Philippine marine ecosystem that foreshadows serious health, social and economic impacts.

“We are an archipelagic nation. Soon, we will become the epicenter of global marine adversity if our government agencies refuse to acknowledge and address the crisis at sea,” said Vince Cinches, Oceans Campaigner for Greenpeace Southeast Asia.

“Our seas are already under threat from massive overfishing and decades of unsustainable fishing practices that have resulted in today’s dwindling fish catch. With ocean acidification and rising sea temperatures, fish won’t be able to spawn and propagate. That now leaves 30 million Filipinos with even less fish to eat,” he added.

There is also the problem of illegal commercial fishing. Monsignor Angel Dy of the Sorsogon Social Action Foundation Inc. said that fisherfolk around Burias-Ticao Pass cannot compete with large commercial fishing vessels that encroach on municipal waters. “We know that illegal and unregulated fishing is rampant in our waters, and yet no one seems to be doing anything about it. This is the reason why last year some bishops went to President Aquino to request that his office ban commercial vessels from the waters around Burias, Ticao, and Ragay Gulf,” said the Monsignor....

Traditional boatbuilding in the Phlippines, shot by Paul Shaffner, Wikimedia Commons via Flickr,  under the Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license

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