Zambales Fisheries Development and Management Program
The small fisherfolk sector is one of the basic sectors in rural communities. Small fisherfolk are composed of men and women who are directly involved in small-scale gathering, harvesting and selling of fishery and aquatic products. They live and work along the rich coastal zone, a strip of land and adjacent shallow sea wherein terrestrial and oceanic processes interact significantly. Within this coastal zone exists a variety of ecosystems, such as, coral reefs, mangroves, seagrasses, and estuarines.
However, issues and problems abound the industry, both for the coastal resources and the small fisherfolk. Coastal resource habitats are highly degraded and the waters are overfished. As early as 1981, only 6% of our coral reefs are in excellent condition. Only 20 % of the original mangrove cover is estimated to exist today. Seagrasses have also suffered losses from 30% - 50%. Fish production in municipal waters is declining which indicates that we are already fishing beyond the Maximum Sustainable Yield.
This degradation and overexploitation of resources adversely affect the small fisherfolk. This has pushed small fisherfolk as amongst the most impoverished sector. Their problems are results of a combination of several issues in the economic, political and socio-cultural aspects.
As a response to this trend, SIKAT implemented Fisheries Development and Management Program (FDMP) in the Province of Zambales. FDMP is a comprehensive approach of addressing environmental and social issues in coastal areas. In involves organizing and empowering both the men and women fishers in the management of fisheries and aquatic resources. It also offered alternative or supplementary livelihood to local partners, setting-up of protected areas and advocacy for appropriate fishery laws for the partner coastal municipalities. The program was first implemented in Zambales in 1994. Since then, SIKAT provided technical support to fishers in seven (7) municipalities.
The project was funded by OXFAM-GB, MISEREOR, and FSSI. To know more about this project, please e-mail email@example.com.