Copyright (c) 2002 Pacific Rim Law & Policy Association
Pacific Rim Law & Policy Journal
COMMENT: THE FUTURE OF MUNICIPAL FISHERIES IN THE PHILIPPINES: DOES THE PHILIPPINE FISHERIES CODE DO ENOUGH?
11 Pac. Rim L. & Pol'y J. 717
Overfishing and coastal resource depletion have led to international concern regarding the state of the ocean ecosystems and coastal populations. To address these concerns, national and international efforts are being made to promote sustainable development of the seas and coastal areas. In most cases this has necessitated a reevaluation of resource management, and more specifically, how fishery resources are allocated among competing interests. The strain on coastal fishery and aquatic resources as a result of habitat degradation and overfishing is particularly debilitating in the Philippines, where a substantial percentage of the country's jobs and foodstuffs depend on the health of the ocean. 1 In 1998, after over ten years of discussion, 2 the government passed the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 ("PFC") 3 with the stated objective of prioritizing the interests of municipal fisherfolk. 4
Because resource allocation is a central consideration for any fisheries management plan, 5 this Comment addresses the PFC's provisions for the distribution of resources for the municipal fishing sector. 6 The analysis questions the clarity of the Philippines' commitment to smallscale fishers, using two related inquiries. First, does the text of the PFC itself promote the allocation of fishery and aquatic resources to municipal fisherfolk? The PFC clearly lists objectives that would affirmatively answer this question. 7 However, particular provisions within the PFC leave questions as to the efficacy of these objectives. This question is addressed through a comparison of the PFC's text to international standards in four areas ...
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