EXPERTS have raised the alarm signals that the country’s seas will become “virtual deserts” by 2050
due to overfishing, according to Sen. Cynthia A. Villar, chair of the Senate committee on agriculture.
This is bad news in this impoverished Southeast Asian nation of more than 100 million people
considering the increasing number of Filipinos whose livelihood and cash depend on the fishing
(It is also public knowledge that rising sea temperatures also destroy the world’s coral
reefs. And experts said that the loss of reefs would have untold consequences for fisheries and other
Aware of the situation, Senator Villar called for a review of the draft plan and various
inputs and recommendations of fishing industry stakeholders on the “National Tuna Management Plan.”
The highly-articulate lady lawmaker, wife of former Senate President Manuel Villar, also cited
the 2010 Census of Marine Life, which says that 90 percent of the large fish are already depleted.
She called on the export-oriented tuna industry to promote the effective conservation,
management and equitable use of tuna resources in the Philippines for its sustainable development.
The highly-effective senator from Las Piñas City also underscored that sustainability is one
of the most important considerations in order to further develop the country’s tuna industry.
Likewise, Senator Villar commended the SOCSKSARGEN Federation of Fishing and Allied
Industries, Inc. for its commitment to eradicate illegal and unregulated fishing for sustainable tuna
We share Villar’s view that illegal fishing not only destroys the dollar-earning industry, but
it also kills the livelihood of millions of our countrymen, particularly the fishermen across the
“We have to always bear in mind that our resources are not unlimited, as such, we have to
sustain them,” she added.
Of course, we hope our fishermen themselves will wake up to their responsibility to protect
and develop the fishing industry.