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Sama-Bajau fishermen taught the do's and don'ts of coastal conservation


To teach the Sama-Bajau people about the management, methods, utilization, and existing laws of their coastal and marine resources, The Care for The Nomads and Bajaus in the Philippines program initiated by the Claret Samal Foundation, Inc. (CSFI) conducted a 3-day Coastal Resource Management (CRM)/ Fishery Laws Orientation last November 18 to 20 at the San Antonio Maria Claret Parish, Zamboanga City.

With “Awakening the Badjaus on Coastal Resource Management and Fishery Laws” for its theme, the orientation was participated by 28 individuals from the different Badjau organizations such as National Sama Badjau Movement (NSBM), National Sama Badjau Tribal Council (NSBTC), CSFI (Claret Samal Foundation, Inc), Philippine Council for Sama-Badjau (PCSB), Regional Fisheries Training Center (RFTC), Jabu-Jabu, and coastal residents from Siasi and Tawi-Tawi.

The participants mostly fishermen arrived at early in the afternoon of the first day and after a few opening remarks from the facilitators, the first session began with information about marine ecology.

The highlight of the orientation was on the second day as the lecturer, Abubakar  Abdullah  from the Regional  Fisheries Training Center (RFTC), discussed topics like the importance and methods of coastal and fisheries resource management. He stressed on topics about the proper care, management, and ecological functions and benefits of the Philippine shallow-water ecosystem: mangrove forests, sea grass beds, and coral reefs. Man-made threats such as pollution and urban development and natural calamities such as climate change that can affect these resources were also brought forward.

Ma. Wendy A. Parojinog, the Culture Research Facilitator from CSFI, said that Coastal Research Management is a basic need for the Badjaus as coastal residents.

As the third day kicked off, the participants were asked about the things that they have learned since day one. Most of the participants described the things they learned including some of the prohibited acts and penalties under “Fishery Laws” like fishing with use of explosives and fishing during closed seasons and reserved areas.

Discussion moderator Dave Malcampo, regional head of Philippine Information Agency (PIA), encouraged and challenged the participants to disseminate the information they learned in orientation to their communities. He asked each of them how they may share the knowledge they learned and the participants mentioned about sharing with their friends and neighbors about fishery laws like concerning prohibited dynamite fishing and the proper caring of their coastal ecosystem.

The orientation is one of the pre-Week of Peace 2012 activities, which will be on November 29 to December 5. (Ria Razel Zamora/Peace Advocates Zamboanga)

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