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MAP OF CORAL REEFS : IN THE PHILIPPINES

FISHING IN THE PHILIPPINES

Coral reef fishes account for 40% of the total catch of fin fishes in the Philippines. 950 of a world total of 4000 total coral reef fish species occur in the Philippines. Coral reefs that support these fish are being destroyed at an alarming rate. Major causes of destruction are illegal fishing methods using obnoxious substance called sodium cyanide, explosives, illegal fine-meshed nets with weighted scare-lines called muro-ami (McAllister, Ansula 1993). Commercial fishing vessels and over-exploitation become a threat to the survival of reef fisheries which too many people depend on. The Philippine derives a significant amount of foreign exchange form marine tourism and the export of aquarium fishes. These sources are fast being threatened s the coral reefs and coastal resources are being destroyed.

One has to understand that the government cannot just come out and ban all these illegal fishing practices because too many people are dependent on them for their living. Taking these away will mean a sharp increase in unemployment and poverty. On the other hand the government also cannot play blind in regards with this problem because the environmental implications are just too big. The government and the people have to work together to come up with a solution that will benefit everybody involved as well as conserve our coastal resources. A combination of community education, community organizing, research and technology training as an approach are important programs to undergo to achieve sustainable development.