Posted by: Jimely Flores | September 29, 2015

Through my mind’s eye

4. I was never impressed by titles like Attorney, Ph D., etc.; I have met smarter and more intelligent people from the ranks of ordinary fishers, farmers and street vendors. Title and education is never a measure of intelligence.

3. I am wary of people who brags they live strictly with integrity.

2. I believe that people who opted to be single should not be discriminated. Equity.

1. When I don’t believe in something or when I am not impress, do not expect me to talk at all.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | June 22, 2015

Philippine blue swimming crab at risk

Posted by: Jimely Flores | June 21, 2015

FishFood Security: why is it an omnipresent dilemma?

Food security has been the mission, vision, goal, objective of most entities, from an individual person to small group of advocates to local national international global universal and planetary organizations from time immemorial up to the present and for sure until the future.

Is it just a goal, vision, mission, objective? Its actually a problem that needs solving.

Its an omnipresent problem burdening the highly sentient beings in a planetary scale.

Is it really that hard? Great innovations, high falutin complex equations, well-dressed and glib politicians are still groping for the answers. Why? Because most of the solutions are too complex that the simple basic foundations are missed.

As simple example. In one small bay, the fishes caught are getting smaller, rarer and worst polluted with heavy metals and carcinogenic compounds. Great famous high esteemed scientists, money-laden organizations are pouring in. Solutions given: ban and prosecute the commercial fishers, give guns and patrol boats to drive away the blasters, poachers, illegal fishers, put up market sheds in the community, stock enhancement and other high-falutin solutions. Still the problem remains. In my solitudes, this simpleton mind keeps bugging me, why complicate things when the problem is simple. Look and count the number of good municipal fisherfolks operating in the bay, too many of them really. Look at the household and personal waste thrown in the bay, even the pigs refuse to swim on them. I look down and my knees drop to the last remaining patch of soil (lucky not to have covered with concrete yet), burdened with the thought that no one might see it.


Infant Trichiurus spp. Dagupan market


Municipal fishing boats

Posted by: Jimely Flores | April 26, 2015

The burden of knowledge

In these jungles of concretes
I walk purposely
Unmindful of the loud cars, big advertising screens and classy worldly wares of this age.

I walk and gaze at the faces I meet
Are they as disturb as I my spirit?
I look at their body forms, gait and aura
Are they carrying heavy loads just like me?

Weighing heavily on my shoulders
Dried baby Trichiurus species (100g)
Bought from a trade show I love to visit
And the memories of the happy marketer’s faces

Running in my head, clouding my face
Scenario of the future
With a sad face, I told the lady seller
I hope these fishes are not targeted this small



Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 15, 2015

Caught in a Frenzy of Spawning

In all of the places I visited and will visit, the traditional markets are one of my fave places. It always a place of wonderful discoveries and sources of fabulous collections.

Just recently, having nothing to do, I hitched ride with a friend on his way to the province and asked to be dropped in one of the major fish landing centers of the country. Using my old reliable tablet as camera, I went around in search of a good dig. And WHOA this is what I found, bunches of same sizes Panuping (Lethrinus lentjan). Suspecting it was caught from a spawning aggregation, I bought some few kilos, have them iced and proceed to the bus station through a tricycle and rode the first bus out.

Arriving, though tired, I immediately proceeded into disecting my loot fishes. And YES ALL OF THEM ARE GRAVID AND READY TO SPAWN, my suspect that they were caught in the frenzy of their spawning aggregration is validated. I hope I could further validate them by diving in the area but alas, I was not able to extract the exact site where the fishes are caught. Getting such information needs time and entails gaining the trust of the fishers. I hope the Universe will soon guide me again in the place.

Having witnessed once a spawning aggregation of groupers is addicting. I would like to see such wonderful, joyous event once more.
image Letrinus lentjan (Panuping)

Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 14, 2015

Mindful living in fisheries

Its midnight. I’m tired but my mind seemed not to want to rest. Thoughts keep on darting in and out.

One thought is particularly lingering, the thoughts by a good person I just talked with. Am I not tired advocating for realistic policies in the field of fisheries resources sustainability and environmental protection? Yes I had my moments of darkness and will have them again, when all hopes and sanity seemed out of place, when being alone and ridiculed is the norm. Yet I could not stay there, living means hope, hope means faith, faith means intelligence and intelligence create action.

Mindfulness, pushing to stay at the moment despite the heavy cloud of lethargy, is the secret. Most of the time I forget but the flittering moments of awareness are always my friends.
image Refmagnets arranged by artistic big hands

Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 13, 2015

Fisheries Policies and Laws Need Paradigm Shift

The Philippines was once a major contributor to the world total fisheries production. Since about 2 decades ago, the annual landings have consistently been decreasing. Ironically, Paper Policy-wise, the Philippines almost look good and competent in managing its natural resources. The commonly given reason for the stark inconsistency is, policies and laws are not strictly enforced or enforcement is weak.

Yet, I have some reservations with the word ‘enforcement’ anyway. Is that not where the weakness is coming from? We are supposed to be at the age of information, and knowledge is empowering. Yet our mindset is still on the use of force. We need a radical paradigm shift, from creating our policies to be enforced into creating policies that encourages compliance. With the opening of market opportunities, knowledge and abundant information, incentives is the name of the game. Policies that were strategically created on the framework that following it will benefit more the resource users at a certain time in a language they understand is much better than laws and regulations that are imposed through the barrels of guns and chasing boats.


Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 13, 2015

Its Midnight

Having no deadline to work on, no skype calls to wait for and no radio program to look forward listening to, I went offline from the world wide web, picked up a great book, laid my back on the bed and read. I am aslept in a matter of minutes.

I am now fully awake and its midnight. As usual, my mind is in its most active moment at these hours. I dreamed of a dead palace underwater. Most of its very diverse big inhabitants are gone aside from bacteria, fungi, and maybe viruses around. The place is just a mess of plastics in various forms, kinds and shapes. Nets of different mesh sizes and forms are also prominent. Taking a close look at the net I am stepping on, its definitely one of the gillnet types. It must have been newly washed into the deep from ashore as it has different epiphytes from the definitely settled ones. I stayed longer hoping to see at least one bigger organism to dart by, but my stillness is met by deep silence. Its scary for somebody like me who used to love the beauty and diversity of the underwater world.

While writing this, the feeling of emptiness still pervades. Its a very lonely ugly world in there. Is that the future of the underwater world humanity will soon create? Its midnight.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 5, 2015

Miniaturization of fishing gears

Miniaturization has been the path this new era is into. Machineries, gadgets, every man-made implements created for man-made use and pleasure are going nano in sizes.

Even here in the Philippine fisheries, though its reasons has nothing to do with the global technological changes. In 2004, due to several factors such as increased of fossil fuel costs, increased cost of materials and escalated campaign on reducing illegal fishing, I saw miniaturization happening in the fishing industry of the country particularly those operating in the inter-island seas. This observation was mentioned in the book I co-authored entitled “Fisheries of Central Visayas: Status and Trends” – wherein the ringnets and bagnets fishing boats were downsized to stay fishing in the municipal waters while maintaining the sizes of the fishing gears ( This is to circumvent the law and minimized fuel cost but exacerbating overcapacity that is pushing the resources into overfished state.

At present, BFAR has just successfully make the ban of Danish Seines legal. Will this just be another law on paper? Don’t get me wrong, it is such a good law in principle but there are obvious unthought-of negative nuances in it. The premise that it destroys the reefs is not true, DS are not operating in reef areas otherwise they would end up with broken nets. The law did not definitely look on the social aspect, where will the fishworkers go? Maybe into blasting? Blasting is a fishing method that requires less capital. Or maybe the displaced fishworkers be recipients of the harmful subsidies such as gillnets and other fishing gears that when simple math is used, it show to just worsen the overfishing status? This is forced miniaturization. Banning is one of the most harsh regulation and it should always be based on good science and socio-economic foundation – significant basic foundations that unfortunately are not so much respected in this country.

Posted by: Jimely Flores | March 2, 2015

The timeline of cheap-protein in the Philippines

Philippines before me may have been dependent on seafoods as major source of cheap protein. Due to increasing population and opening of trades and market, Philippines in my youth have started weaning away from seafoods into farmed animals like pigs and chicken. In my midlife, Philippines’ major source of cheap protein is chicken. My outlook in the coming years is that Philippines’ source of cheap protein-essences will be in the form of chicken, pork and seafood flavors from instant noodles and other cheap instant food products. It is no wonder that the analytical capabilities of the majority of the populations seemed to be digressing as indicated by the present political leaderships in the country now.

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