Teaching men how to fish

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Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Sun.Star Cebu report Tuesday said the million-hectare Visayan Sea covering northern Cebu, northeastern Iloilo, northern Negros and southern Masbate, home to some 488 endangered coral species and 12,000 seashells, has fewer fish now.

This was attributed to the damage on the coral reefs caused by illegal fishing and super typhoon Yolanda.

This goes to show it isn’t enough to teach people how to fish instead of giving them fish.


They must also be taught how to fish properly.


A marine and fisheries expert said it was wrong to give boats and fishing gear to typhoon Yolanda victims in northern Cebu.

The seas must be allowed to rest for a while so the marine resources can recover, he said.

But what do fishermen do? Of course, fish.

But if one day there’s nothing more to fish, expect fishermen to go out to sea with a provision of rice and canned sardines.


Condominiums have mushroomed all over Metro Cebu. But did you know there are now fish condominiums?

Ramon Magsaysay awardee Antonio Oposa, Visayan Sea Squadron chair, has introduced fish condominiums to serve as alternative shelter for fish left homeless by damaged coral reefs.

Now it can be said the time has come when fish and humans alike enjoy the same amenities?

Let’s just hope these fish condominiums are typhoon-resistant.


Oposa also introduced a glass-bottomed boat that allows one to see the damaged coral reefs and different kinds of fish in Bantayan Island.

The glass-bottomed boat will help the fishermen understand why their catch has been small lately, he said.

But if the fishermen would see fish under the boat, will the sight not make them cast the first net?

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on April 23, 2014.


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