Greenpeace Philippines in cooperation with Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Socsksargen Federation of Fishing and Allied Industries Inc. (SFFAI Inc.), conducted a one day forum on Pole and Line Fishing and Eco- Certification last July 19, 2012 at Sun City Suites, Gensan. The forum discusses the problem of over-fishing and the declining number of Tuna on Philippine seas. The forum also opens for questions, comments, and recommendations from the participants. The participants came from different sectors like the government of General Santos City, from private sector, academe and the local media.
The forum has three speakers: first is Mr. Mark Dias, the Regional Oceans Campaigner of GREENPEACE Southeast Asia. He discusses the global and domestic status of our Tuna fisheries and the need and options for sustainability. Second is Ibrahim Athif Shakoor, Secretary General of International Pole and Line Foundation. He discusses what is Pole and Line fishing and its environmental, social, and economic case and costs of it. And lastly, Mr. Bill Holden, the Pacific Fisheries Manager of Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) in Australia. He presents the ecological and financial benefits of Eco-Certifications and potential for MSC Tuna Certifications.
Greenpeace, the one who organized the forum, "is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behavior, to protect and conserve the environment, and promote peace." Their organization is advocating sustainable fishing. They notice the declining number of Tuna in our oceans and they take the initiative to do something about it. "Greenpeace is offering an alternative and sustainable solution to the country's fishing woes through Skipjack Pole and Line (P&L) Fishing. Pole and Line fishing is a traditional method practiced by fishers in coasted communities. It requires the use of a pole, a line, a hook, and a bait boat."
The Tuna Industry of General Santos City already felt the declining number of Tuna catch in highseas. This alarming incident(s) makes you think of our future consumption of Tuna (or other species of fish). The title of Gensan as the Tuna Capital of the Philippines would no longer be true because of this incident(s). This is not only experienced in Gensan but also in other countries as well. "Modern fishing techniques have resulted in unwanted and unsustainable by catch and over fishing that has wiped out some Tuna populations."
According to Shakoor, there is potential for P & L in the Philippines because it is safe for the environment and economically advantageous to fishermen.
To give you idea what is P & L fishing method, please watch this video created by Greenpeace.