June 9, 2011
Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan today urges the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources to look into the possible implementation of an early warning system that would minimize the devastating effects of fishkill.
In a hearing conducted by the Senate Committee on Agriculture and Food which Pangilinan chairs, experts say that the cost of damage of the fishkill in Pangasinan and Batangas has already reached P200 million.
“An early warning system could minimize the damage to life and property. An early warning system much like what PAGASA and PhilVolcs have would enable fishermen to harvest the spoils early and should enable them to do the necessary preventive measures to mitigate heavy losses.”
Pangilinan adds that BFAR and DENR could enjoin fisherfolk in vigilance by providing them a hotline where they could report immediately fishkill incidence.
Pangilinan also urges officials to crack down on illegally operated fishpens and their owners.
“This massive fishkill in Pangasinan and Batangas should serve as a valuable lesson to everyone that greed can backfire and cost unscrupulous owners a lot more than just their money. Their permits should be revoked and their names should be blacklisted. We cannot allow such groups and individuals undermine our industry and destroy the livelihood of our fisherfolk who depend heavily in this major agricultural sector. We cannot allow such people to destroy and plunder our rich and diverse aquaculture and maricuture and undermine our efforts at becoming food self-sufficient.”
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