Fisheries Improvement Project Assessment conducts in GenSan


The SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied Industry Inc. (SFFAII) have conducted an assessment for the Tuna Handline Fishery of GenSan. SFFAII engaged the services of Dinna Umengan and Ernesto “Jack” Morales from Asian Seafood Improvement Collaborative (ASIC), to conduct the assessment activity using the ASIC Fishery Improvement Project Tool. It aims to check on the region’s sustainability of fishing operation. 

The assessment was conducted on November 23-24, 2018. On the first day, they interviewed Elsie Villanueva (Assistant City Agriculturist) and Movina Gono (Section Chief) from the City Agriculture Office of GenSan. Then they interviewed Jose Abarquez, the Port Manager of Philippine Fisheries Development Authority (PFDA) GenSan. They also interviewed staff from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) namely, Eugene Casas (Head of Fisheries Quarantine & Inspection Section/Certifying Officer), Edison Pesario (Head Fish Inspection & Validation Unit), Ian Medel Lipio (Certification Staff) and Angeline Mallari (NSAP Data Analyst). On the second day, they assessed two commercial handline operators, namely Tuna Explorer Inc. and Philippine Cin Mic Industrial Inc. 

The second assessment was conducted on December 10-11, 2018. They interviewed PO2 Jay Gurrea PCG (the Sub Station Commander of GenSan Coast Guard), Ronnie Larios (Technical Aide) and Annabelle Tagaza (Senior Provincial Agriculturist) from the Office of the Provincial Agriculture Office of Sarangani, as well as Jelyn Apura (OIC PPDC) from the Provincial Planning Office. On the following day, they interviewed Raul Gonzales from the Alliance of Tuna Handliners and Sheila Marie Dumalay (Senior Labor & Employment Officer) from the Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE) Region 12. 

Fishery Improvement Projects or FIPs are a relatively new approach to generate and provide incentives for improvements in fisheries. This tool can allow industry stakeholders to work collaboratively to improve a fishery and FIPs are increasingly being recognized by international buyers as an interim step to certification. 

The creation of ASEAN Economic Community led to a single market and production based that entails the harmonization of fishing practices and standards in the ASEAN region. It became a priority of the region and presented an opportunity for the industry and other stakeholders to work collaboratively to improve the sustainability of fisheries, and promote responsible fishing practices in a way that continues to support food security and safeguards the livelihoods of small-scale fisher folk.

SFFAII through the Executive Director was the private sector representative for the Philippines. The ASEAN FIP was developed by the Steering Committee of which SFFAII was a member and held 5 committee meetings in its developmental phase. 

The ASIC Fisheries Improvement Tool uses two benchmarks - the Environmental and Social Benchmarks. Environmental benchmarks include: (1) Stock Status and Data Collection; (2) Risks to Ecosystems and ETP Species; (3) Fisheries Governance; and (4) Traceability of Fisheries Products. 11 Interim Goals were developed with 35 Steps for Improvement. While Social Benchmarks have three sets namely: (1) Requirements for All Boats; (2) Requirements for Large Boats; and, (3) Requirements for Small Boats. Issued covered include Legal Registration of Workers, Child and Forced Labor, Fair Income, Safety at Sea, Working Hours, Grievance Mechanism and Emergency Measures. There 10 Interim Goals developed with 27 Steps for Improvement. 


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Fisheries Improvement Project Assessment conducts in GenSan
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