THE fish population in the Visayan Sea, one of the country’s major fishing grounds, has been exploited 70 percent beyond its capacity to replenish, threatening not just the livelihood of thousands of fisherfolk but also the country’s food security.
National Stock Assessment Program (NSAP) Visayan Sea project leader Prudencio Belga Jr. said the exploitation rate of commercial fisheries in the area has surpassed the exploration ratio of 50 percent, the threshold at which commercial dominant marine fish stock can recoup from natural deaths and death by fishing.
“This is alarming. We are exploiting our fish stock beyond its capacity to replenish,” he said.
In Central Visayas (Region 7), fish is the main source of cheap animal protein, since prices of poultry and meat are more prohibitive.