BACOLOD CITY: Provinces bordering bodies of water in the Visayas region recently signed a Covenant of Commitment and Cooperation for the conservation, protection and restoration of the Visayan Sea during the 9th Visayan Sea Summit at Sicogon Island in Carles, Iloilo,
Among these provinces are Negros Ocidental, Negros Oriental, Cebu, Iloilo and Bohol.
Under the covenant, the officials agreed to cooperate to pursue and promote their respective goals in the conservation, protection and restoration of the Visayan Sea; to collaborate and cooperate in the declaration of the Visayan Sea covering an area of about 10,000 kilometers to be a “Visayan Sea Fishery Management Area” and to adopt a Management Framework for the Conservation, Protection and Restoration of the Visayan Sea as basis for the implementation of the Visayan Sea Fishery Management Plan.
The provincial governments are expected to assist cities and municipalities whose waters fall within the area of the Visayan Sea in the adoption and implementation of the Visayan Sea Management Framework and Fisheries Management Plan through local ordinances, while the Bureau of Fisheries and Agricultural Resources regional offices shall take the lead in management of waters beyond the 15-kilometer municipal waters within the Visayan Sea, as well as provide technical assistance in the implementation of the Fisheries Code.
BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona committed to provide a monitoring control and survey vessel for research and enforcement as well as 38-footer patrol boats for local government units surrounding the Visayan Sea.
Eugene Y. Adiong