BFAR eyeing amended fish importation rules

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Director Asis Perez said Monday that the bureau is currently studying the possibility of changing the governing rules on the importation of fish and other fresh fisheries produce.

The Bureau said the government is keen on “formalizing” fish importation to enable the Philippines to meet its annual demand for fish.

According to a report in the Business Mirror, Philippine 2011 fisheries production declined by 4.07 percent due to a decline in the catch of tuna as well as the three-month ban on sardines fishing imposed by the government
In its national stock assessment program, the BFAR noted that most of the country’s fishing grounds are already heavily exploited.

“We will try to adopt the NFA system wherein we will determine the annual requirement minus the production. The difference is what we will allow to enter the country,” said BFAR Director Asis Perez in an interview.

Also, in a separate interview with GMA News Online, Director Perez said that the difference between the requirement and production will be given a Certificate of Necessity in order that the fish may be imported.

“They [importers] are to dispose imported fishes to the wet markets and even to supermarkets. As to how they can do this is still being deliberated,” said Perez.

The BFAR director could give no definite date as to when these changes in importation rules will be implemented.

“We are still consulting with fishermen, vendors, and other stakeholder,” said Perez.


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