On National Fisherfolks Day: CCC calls for sustainable actions to protect marine ecosystems

June 03, 2024 Monday

MANILA, 3 June 2024 The Climate Change Commission (CCC) called for sustainable actions to protect the country’s marine ecosystems and coastal communities to bolster growth and development for fisherfolk as the nation commemorated National Fisherfolk’s Day on 31 May 2024.

CCC Vice Chairperson and Executive Director Robert E.A. Borje pointed out the importance of recognizing and ramping up work to address the challenges faced by our fishing communities due to climate change and other human-induced ecosystem issues.

Borje underlined the dependence of fisherfolks on marine and coastal resources and stressed that “human activities contributing to the deterioration of marine ecosystems and climate change must be addressed.”

“Our actions significantly impact the health of our environment. Every step we take towards sustainability contributes to the protection and preservation of our marine ecosystems. Let this day demonstrate our common resolve to transformative climate action that protects and promotes our people, including fisherfolk,” he added.

Around 8 million Filipinos are directly and indirectly dependent on marine and coastal resources. However, a plethora of issues, including climate change, marine pollution, oil spills, habitat loss, rising sea levels and surface temperatures, and ocean acidification, poses severe threats to their lives and livelihoods.

Climate change, in particular, has led to unpredictable weather patterns, more intense tropical cyclones, and altered fish migration routes, further complicating the difficult job of our fisherfolk. Marine pollution, from plastic waste to chemical runoff, degrades the quality of waters, affecting fish health and reducing catches. Oil spills have catastrophic impacts when they occur, destroying entire ecosystems and the communities that depend on them.

The loss of vital habitats such as coral reefs and mangroves, which serve as breeding and nursing grounds for many marine species, exacerbates the decline in fish populations. The rise in sea levels threatens coastal communities, increasing the risk of flooding and erosion, while rising surface temperatures and ocean acidification disrupt marine life, leading to a decrease in biodiversity.

National Fisherfolk's Day is celebrated annually on May 31 to recognize the dedication of Filipino fisherfolk to protect our coastal and marine resources. The proclamation also recognizes Filipino fisherfolk as the rightful stewards and beneficiaries of our oceans.

“Let’s honor the resilience of our fishing communities and commit to sustainable actions to protect our coastal and marine ecosystems, and the lives, livelihood and future of our people,” Borje said.

For more information on the CCC’s climate mainstreaming activities, visit www.climate.gov.ph and www.facebook.com/CCCPhl.