Project: Fisheries Resource Management (Phase 2)

Baliangao, Northern Mindanao, Philippines

Partners: M.A.E.E. and PARTS

The focus of this project is the management of a 150-hectare Special Fisheries Demarcated Area located on the Northern shores of Baliangao. The project is a pilot area for community-based fisheries resources management. It is felt to be the right answer to the overexploitation of resources due to open access. The result remains a heavily (over-)exploited municipal and national waters. The lack of involvement of both users and local government, which is not prepared to invest in rehabilitating fish stocks. Given the geographical location of the Philippines, the Philippines should be a fish-exporter, sadly that is not the case.

The main aim of the project is to establish a community managed common fisheries resource. The project has several pillars:

1. Transparency in resource use: On the first pillar, Great progress has been made on the first principle with a team of catch enumerators that meet the resource users at the beach when they return from fishing and picture and encode the catches. A stable group of 7 enumerators has been formed. In general, the cooperation of the resource users is improving, and a wealth of data is generated. At the same time resource users get used to being transparent in their resource use. The digital registration system was further improved by including the upload of pictures of the catch to the database.

2. Development of a legal basis for Community Based management including access regulation: On the second pillar, a legal basis for management, the project achieved a lot in 2021. The needed municipal ordinance was further improved with the Sanggunian Bayan and approved after two public hearings. Also, the Mayor of Baliangao approved the ordinance.

3. Capacity building of the fishers and the fisher leaders: Capacity building of the fishers focused on the 9 elected representatives of the resource users and 12 law enforcers. Meeting and reporting skills were improved. Legal basis of the management and the role of the enforcers were taught in a seminar. With actual role playing of encounters with violators.