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PIA Press Release

Joint BIMP-EAGA fisheries and aquaculture cooperation eyed

by Prix D Banzon

Davao City (15 February) -- The BIMP EAGA sector on Fisheries Development sees the need for a joint cooperation and development of High Value Aquaculture and other fishery products within the sub region.

Report of the technical working group of the strategic planning workshop held at Kota Kinabalu, Malaysia last month showed several projects to be undertaken within BIMP EAGA to sustain and preserve the source of fishes within the area.

Included in this programs is the joint venture on Seaweeds Production, Processing and Marketing wherein the GTZ is requested to engage experts like Ian Neish to assist in developing harmonized standards for seaweeds (both upstream and downstream). It will also include information packages for dissemination to farmers and traders through institutional partners.

The Conservation International (CI) will be invited to report on the progress of implementation of projects under the SSME Action Plan.

A joint venture on Mariculture was also seen as another strategy of which the Malaysian government and private sector are planning to visit mariculture parks in the Philippines and Indonesia. The Malaysian government will present proposal and program of the trip to the Council.

Along with the preservation and conservation of marine resources, the Philippine government earlier proposed for the creation of a high-level council composed of leaders from the South Asian States bordered by the Coral Triangle. The objective is to save the 5.7 kilometer area of the world's richest source of marine resources from environmental destruction spawned by global warming and other forms of ecological degradation.

The proposal also aims to attract international donor community to provide aid to help save the area.

The Coral Triangle is a global center of marine biodiversity that is bounded by Indonesia, Malysia, Timor Leste, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands and the Philippines.

It is home to about 50 percent of tuna-spawning areas for yellowfin, big eye and skip jack.

And the world's most valuable fish the bluefin tuna. It is also contains 75 percent of all coral species known in science, 75 percent of the world's mangrove species, 45 percent of the world's seagrass species, 58 percent of tropical marine mollusks, six out of eight species of marine turtles, 22 species of marine mammals and migrating population of whale sharks and manta rays, and more than 3,000 species of fishes.

The Department of Agriculture reported in a press statement the observations of experts that practices such as overfishing and destructive fishing methods, burgeoning seafood markets, sedimentation and pollution, development and tourism activities, and the increase in coral bleaching due to global warming have placed the Coral Triangle in peril. (PIA) [top]

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