Author: Philippine News Agency
Any views expressed in this article are those of the author and not of Philippine Statistics Authority.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Oceana Philippines have teamed up to create a National Management Framework Plan for sardines — the first of its kind for the country.
Agriculture Undersecretary for Fisheries Commodore Eduardo Gongona, in his message during the launching of “Sagip Sardines” Tuesday at a hotel in Quezon City, urged everybody to help in the conservation and protection of the country’s sardines.
“We call on our partners, both locally and internationally, in spreading our message of responsible stewardship, especially when it comes to the management and maintenance of this precious fish resource,” he said.
Sardines are an economically vital fish species to thousands of Filipinos. Over the last five years and according to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the sardine industry has yielded an average of 355,000 metric tons worth P10.45 billion.
“When we look at data from our Fisherfolk Registration System, we see that there are over 800,000 fisherfolk engaged in capture fishing. That is nearly half of the 1.7 million registered fisherfolk across the country, almost a million people dependent on sardines and other fish for their everyday living,” said Gongona.
“These numbers mean a lot to your government, which, under the Duterte Administration has committed to provide safe, available, and affordable food for its people,” he said.
Sardines are among if not the most accessible source of protein, considering that the fish can be bought at an average price of only P50 to P90 per kilo. It has become a staple part of the Filipino diet and culture — having an average consumption of 2.6 grams per day, or 0.9 kilograms a year.
“With the affordability and abundance of the sardine population, the sardine industry is one of the fisheries subsectors that can help us achieve our food security goals,” said Gongona.