Impact of aging fisherfolk on food security highlighted by Yamsuan

A Concerned Representative Pushes for Measures to Address Aging Fisherfolk Population Impact on Food Security

Bicol Saro Partylist Representative Brian Raymund Yamsuan has raised alarm over the negative effects of the aging fisherfolk population in the Philippines on the nation’s food security. Yamsuan proposed that the government provide more scholarships to entice young students to pursue careers in aquaculture and fisheries.

As the newly appointed chairperson of the House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries, Yamsuan emphasized the need for ramping up post-harvest and marketing programs to make fishing and related activities more enticing and profitable for young Filipinos.

During a committee hearing, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported that out of the 2.5 million Filipinos reliant on the country’s water bodies for a living, approximately 1.1 million are aging fisherfolk. This statistic highlights the urgency of rejuvenating the sector and encouraging youth participation.

The decline in the fisheries industry’s production has led to increased reliance on fish imports to meet demand. Yamsuan noted the lack of cold storage facilities and reliable transport as factors forcing fisherfolk to resort to turning their products into dried fish instead of preserving them for longer shelf life.

Despite BFAR’s scholarship program, which offers various benefits to successful applicants, there is a low uptake among young Filipinos. Yamsuan suggested that BFAR collaborate with coastal communities’ congressional districts and launch a social media campaign to attract more interested students to the scholarship program.

It is evident that immediate action is needed to address the challenges faced by the aging fisherfolk population and ensure the sustainability of the fisheries and aquaculture industry in the Philippines.

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