Manila, Philippines – The militant fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) blasted the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) officials for endorsing the Blue Economy as a strategy for inclusive growth in fisheries.
The High Level Policy Dialogue on Food Security and the Blue Economy (HLPDFSBE) came to a close in Iloilo on October 5, 2015 proclaiming the Blue Economy as the key strategy in attaining inclusive growth.
The Pamalakaya said that the Blue economy is a threat to our food security and marine ecology because it will promote monopoly and will wreak havoc to local production and to the livelihoods of the fisherfolk.
“The Blue Economy will continue and further intensify the policies of liberalization and privatization in our marine resources. These are policies of foreign plunder!” France said.
According to Pamalakaya, the mad rush of the Blue Economy will offer the country’s rich fishing grounds to the Blue Economy investors and to make sure that the First World funded commercial fishing fleets would continue to enjoy stable supply of fish in our country.
“Last 2012 alone, a total of $808.8 million-worth of marine products was served on a silver platter to the developed countries such as the European Union (EU), United States (US) and Japan. In the EU itself, we are exporting P8 billion-worth of fish, sea weeds and other marine products every year courtesy of the 17-year old Fisheries Code of 1998. All of this while imports of fish skyrocket.” France said.
The fisherfolk group said that the objective of the Blue Economy is to promote the import-dependent and export-oriented policy while subverting the local production which will result to the death of our depleting marine resources.
“Our local production is already being attacked by the anti-fisherfolk Fisheries Code of 1998 and now its amendments or the Republic Act 10654 under the guise of combating the illegal, unreported, unregulated (IUU) fishing, while the real culprits exploit our seas and rob our cupboards!
“The drive to increase exports will be the death of our seas and marine ecosystems, and us 56 million Filipinos who depend on fish as our main source of protein.” France remarked.
Militant fisherfolk and peasant organizations and advocates gathered in a parallel activity condemning APEC-HLPDFSBE in Iloilo last September 27-30.
“This Blue Economy deserves nation-wide and global rejection from the toiling masses because it is nothing but another scheme of economic plunder on underdeveloped countries imposed by the First World and imperialist nations.” France ended. ###
Salvador France, PAMALAKAYA Vice-Chairperson – 0948-996-4477
Jam Pinpin, PAMALAKAYA Public Information Officer – 0942-274-5591