Posted by: Jimely Flores | October 19, 2013

Challenges of Advising a FIP: my personal journey – Series 1

Fisheries Improvement Project was first started by Sustainable Fisheries Partnership as a tool for the supply chain to be involve in the management of the fisheries resources which their businesses are founded upon (to know more about this initiative visit http://www.sustainablefish.org).

It all started when a mentor invited me join the meeting of SFP (represented by Sari Surjadi) and some of the processors of blue swimming crab BSC (Portunus pelagicus), local names are alimasag or kasag in Dusit Hotel in 2009. Sari introduced us to the concept of FIP and what SFP is doing. Instantly I recognized its innovative character and I know it is by far the most practical system of managing our resources. Who else would have the most interest to make fisheries resources sustainable but those who are gaining from it.

SFP needs a researcher to profile the blue swimming crab fisheries and industry in the Philippines that time and having an extensive background on the said fisheries, I got the job. Several problems were identified: overcapacity – there are more entangling nets and traps than the fisheries could support, catch per effort of a crabber is consistently going down over the years, nursery grounds are being degraded, the ecosystem is negatively impacted by the gears used, particularly the entangling net by catching juvenile sharks, large volume and number of discarded species, one of the cause of death of the Irrawady Dolphins in Malampaya Sound, growth overfishing – catching small crabs before they have time to reproduce at least once, to name some. [References: Romero 2009, Flores 2005, Ingles 2004, Ingles 2003, Ingles and Flores 2000). These results were presented to a meeting in Iloilo between BFAR Region 6 and BFAR Central, SFP and some of the crab processors and exporter. This status of the fishery was hoped to be the basis of whatever management scheme the processors and BFAR would plan for.

There were two output reports during this profile work with SFP, the Fisheries Profile which started the content of the Fish Source for BSC Philippines (it was edited and updated over the past years) and a Value/Supply Chain Scoping of the BSC Phil Fisheries.  The submission of these reports ends that part of my journey.

 

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