Saturday, June 1, 2024

National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit: A Vital Gathering Organized by Rare

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Safeguarding the future of our fisheries should be among our primary goals.

In recent years, the importance of sustainable fishing practices and the conservation of aquatic ecosystems have gained significant global attention. Among the noteworthy events that emphasize these issues is the National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit, organized by Rare. This summit is a landmark event, bringing together stakeholders from various sectors to discuss, plan, and implement strategies for the sustainable management of coastal and inland fisheries.

Introduction to Rare

Rare is a global environmental organization that uses behavior-centered design to motivate community-led conservation efforts. Rare's approach integrates behavioral insights, community engagement, and technical expertise to develop practical solutions for some of the world's most pressing environmental challenges. The organization has been at the forefront of numerous successful conservation projects worldwide, with a strong focus on sustainable fisheries.

The Need for the Summit

The health of coastal and inland fisheries is critical for the livelihoods of millions of people, particularly in developing countries. These fisheries provide essential food resources, employment, and economic benefits. However, they face severe threats from overfishing, habitat destruction, pollution, and climate change. The National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit aims to address these challenges by fostering collaboration and sharing innovative solutions among stakeholders.

Objectives of the Summit

The National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit has several key objectives:Promote Sustainable Fishing Practices: The summit aims to highlight and promote best practices in sustainable fishing, ensuring that fish populations remain viable for future generations.

Enhance Policy and Governance: It seeks to influence policy at local, national, and international levels, advocating for regulations that support sustainable fisheries management.

Strengthen Community Engagement: The summit emphasizes the importance of engaging local communities in conservation efforts, recognizing their crucial role in the stewardship of aquatic resources.

Facilitate Knowledge Exchange: By bringing together experts from various fields, the summit provides a platform for sharing research, experiences, and innovative solutions.

Address Climate Change Impacts: The summit focuses on strategies to mitigate and adapt to the impacts of climate change on coastal and inland fisheries.

Key Themes and Topics

The summit covers a wide range of themes and topics, reflecting the multifaceted nature of fisheries management. Some of the key areas of discussion include:Ecosystem-Based Management: Exploring holistic approaches to managing fisheries that consider the interconnections within ecosystems, ensuring the health of entire aquatic systems rather than focusing on individual species.

Community-Based Fisheries Management (CBFM): Highlighting successful examples of CBFM, where local communities take the lead in managing their fisheries, often resulting in more effective and sustainable outcomes.

Innovative Technologies: Discussing the role of technology in fisheries management, including the use of satellite data, mobile applications, and drones for monitoring and enforcement.

Policy and Legal Frameworks:
Examining existing policies and legal frameworks, identifying gaps, and advocating for reforms that support sustainable fisheries.

Climate Resilience: Developing strategies to enhance the resilience of fisheries and fishing communities to the impacts of climate change, such as rising sea levels, ocean acidification, and changing fish migration patterns.

Economic Incentives: Exploring economic tools and incentives that can promote sustainable fishing practices, such as market-based approaches, eco-labeling, and community-supported fisheries.

Panel discussions

Session 1: Climate Resilience - Social Protection for Municipal Fisherfolk Against Extreme Weather Events was conducted first.

Featured Sammy Malvas, Regional Director of BFAR Region IV- A, Alfredo Coro III, Mayor of Municipality of Del Carmen, Surigao Del Norte, Israel Q. Dela Cruz, Department Manager, BD MD, Philippine Crop Insurance Corporation (PCIC)

Panel moderator was Flora Belinario.

Session 2: Illegal, Unreported, Unregulated Fishing 

Featured Mary Rose Martin, Fisheries Managemeny, Regulatory and Enforcement Division (FMRED) DA- BFAR, Cristano R. Bual,  Municipal Agriculture Office Hinundayan, Southern Leyte FIT- Adopter, Police Brigadier Jonathan A. Cabal, Director, PNP - Maritime Group

The Panel host was Arty. Wilmon Penalosa, USAID Fish Right.

Session 3: Preferential Rights

Featured Mayor Edreluisa (Lulu) O. Calonge, Municipality of Mabuhay, Zamboanga Sibugay,  Ruperto Aleroza, Vice Chairperson for Basic Sector National Anti-Poverty Commission, Fredel Mued, IP Fisherfolk Leader, Busuanga Palawan

The Panel Host was Dennis Calvin.

Preferential rights refer to specific rights or options that give certain parties priority or special treatment in various contexts.

Session 4: Locally Managed MPAs

Featured Mayor Eniego Jabagat, Kindly Negros Oriental, Dr. Hael Arceo, MPA Support Network, JhoracevTupas, OIC Division Chief Coastal and Marine Division Biodiversity Management Bureau DENR, Gavina Tumbaga, Fisherfolk Representative NFARMC

The Panel Host was May Blanco.

Session 5: Inland Fisheries

Featured Dr. Ma. Theresa M. Mutia, DA- NFRDI and Dr. Roberto F. Granola, Municipal Administrator Los Banos, Laguna

The Panel host was Judy Ann Estrella, DA- BFAR.

Session 6: Fisheries Governance 

Featured John Rodgie P. Sanariz, Municipal Administrator Tanza, Cavite FishCA Awardee, Mayor Jett C. Rojas Municipality of Ajuy, Iloilo, MMK Awardee, Dir. Debie T. Torres, CESO IV Bureau of Local Government Supervision, DILG, Nazario Briguera, Chief BFAR- Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit (FCU)/BFAR Spokesperson

The Panel host was Fernando L. Mesa, Former Mayor of Alabat, Quezon.

For your information:

MMK- Malinis at Masaganang Karagatan

FishCA - Fisheries Compliance Audit

Mayor Angie Arcena of Burgos, Surigao Del Norte read the Summit Resolution.

The Summit Resolution for Inland Fisheries was read by by Dr. Roberto Rancia, Municipal Administrator of Los Banks, Laguna

in behalf of DILG Sec. Benjamin Abalos Jr., Dir. Debie Torres of DILG -Bureau of Local Government Supervision gave the Closing Remarks

Outcomes and Impact

The National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit aims to produce tangible outcomes that drive positive change in fisheries management. Some of the expected outcomes include:

Action Plans: The development of action plans and roadmaps for implementing sustainable fisheries practices at local, national, and regional levels.

Policy Recommendations: A set of policy recommendations that can be presented to governments and international bodies to advocate for supportive regulatory frameworks.

Partnerships and Collaborations: The formation of new partnerships and collaborations among stakeholders, fostering ongoing cooperation and knowledge exchange.

Awareness and Advocacy: Increased awareness of the importance of sustainable fisheries and strengthened advocacy efforts to support conservation initiatives.


The National Coastal and Inland Fisheries Summit organized by Rare is a crucial event that addresses the pressing challenges facing fisheries today. By bringing together a diverse array of stakeholders, the summit fosters collaboration, innovation, and action towards sustainable fisheries management. The outcomes of the summit are expected to have a lasting impact, contributing to the health of aquatic ecosystems and the well-being of communities that depend on them. Through initiatives like this, Rare continues to demonstrate its commitment to conservation and the sustainable use of natural resources, paving the way for a more sustainable and resilient future.

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