15 Jun Overfishing Dilemma: Fish Species in the Philippines are in Danger
On Friday, June 10, the environmental group Haribon and Britain’s Newcastle University reported that dozens of fish species have vanished or are on the brink of being lost from marine biodiversity hotspot in the Philippines.
Since 1950s, 59 coral reef species had gone missing from catches. The assessment is gathered from the interview of 2,600 fishermen across the Philippines.
Gregorio dela Rosa, a marine biologist with Haribon said that overfishing caused that disappearance and threat of these species.
“These species are usually served in restaurants, swimming around in aquariums. They command a high price. If you have lots of mouths to feed, you need lots of fish to catch,” he said.
The Philippines’ population boost of more than 100 million people today, from about 20 million in the 1950s is a detail one must consider why the demand has been that high.
China is also one of the factors that caused this. Dela Rosa said, “It has a very big impact because most of our fish are exported to China, also Singapore and Hong Kong. The groupers are highly priced, especially the red ones which are in demand in Chinese wedding receptions.”
The Coral Triangle, an area of water spanning Philippines, Indonesia, Papua New Guinea, Malaysia, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands is known as the global center of marine biodiversity.