Programs & Projects
Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project

Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) Project

Programs & Projects

The Government of the Philippines has partnered with the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) for the Ecosystems Improved for Sustainable Fisheries (ECOFISH) project, launched on 17 October 2012 in Diliman, Quezon City, Philippines.

ECOFISH proponents unveil the project’s site map during the launch. From left are Chief of Party Geronimo Silvestre and Chief of Department of Energy and Environment Office Rolf Anderson of the USAID; Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and BFAR Director Asis Perez

ECOFISH proponents unveil the project’s site map during the launch. From left are Chief of Party Geronimo Silvestre and Chief of Department of Energy and Environment Office Rolf Anderson of the USAID; Department of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and BFAR Director Asis Perez.

ECOFISH is a 5-year technical assistance project designed to protect and manage eight marine key biodiversity areas including the Calamianes Group of Islands in Palawan, Lingayen Gulf in Pangasinan, Ticao Pass-Lagonoy Gulf-San Bernardino Strait in Bicol and Samar, Danajon Double Barrier Reef in Bohol and Leyte, Southern Negros Occidental, Surigao provinces, the Sulu Archipelago, and the Verde Island Passage in Batangas and Mindoro area.

The Philippines initiated the plan last year through the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR).

The government is aiming to improve the management of marine and coastal resources found in these key areas. The project also seeks to protect these areas from threats such as overfishing and other environmental threats.

According to the BFAR, the country currently ranks 8th in total fisheries production globally. Recent national stock assessment report, however, stated that two-thirds of the 12 major fishing bays in the country are overfished and there are indications that the catch rates of reef fisheries as among the lowest in the world, partly due to the use of dynamite and cyanide in fishing, the agency said.

The BFAR and the USAID have teamed up for a 5-year TA project (Photo Courtesy of USAID)

The BFAR and the USAID have teamed up for a 5-year TA project (Photo Courtesy of USAID)

Excessive fishing has resulted in the decrease in average sizes of fishes, shifts in species composition, and steep decline in abundance of valuable species. If this continues, fish production may not only decrease but it may also collapse.

Under ECOFISH, the BFAR hopes to reverse the trend by establishing and implementing technical training programs, supporting local governments in improving management of municipal marine waters, and facilitating collaboration between governments, institutions, and private sector partners.

The project seeks to enhance intermunicipal government alliances through a national training program for local and national government personnel involved in fisheries.

In the long term, the project also hopes to increase fish population, identify opportunities for fishing communities to gain employment and improve their livelihood, and generate public-private sector partnership to support sustainable fisheries management.

Avatar of Coral Triangle Written by Coral Triangle

6 Comments
  1. What is the mission and vission of ECOFISH Project?

    • Hi Arnel,

      The main objective of the ECOFISH Project is to improve the management of important coastal and marine resources and associated ecosystems that support local economies. The ECOFISH Project is intended to foster fishing sector reforms through the application of the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) in larger marine conservation areas and involving clusters of Local Government Units (LGUs). It will promote the growth and restore the profitability of fisheries through conservation of ecosystem health and effective management.

      The annual report as of November 2013 can be accessed through this link.
      http://pdf.usaid.gov/pdf_docs/PA00K5BW.pdf

  2. Who are the funding institutions for this project?

  3. may i know the Fishery Profile of Calatagan/Balayan?

  4. Good day!

    I would like to ask if you have some copy of Ecosystem-based Management Plan of any Municipal water or Bay of Palawan.

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