Manila Bulletin

Protect and save the fish in the sea


IN the Book of Genesis in the Bible, it said that God created all kinds of swimming creatures, saying: “Be fertile, multiply, and fill the water of the seas.”

The intention of the Almighty was to feed man only whenever he is hungry.

But, alas, today man has abused the bounties of the sea that God has given him, and now the fish in the ocean will soon disappear.

This warning was made by the world communitie­s on the rampant debauchery of marine life by man.

But all is not lost. There are still those in this big universe who are concerned and are now campaignin­g to limit the catching of fish in the oceans, minimizing the transconti­nental commerce of them and people are voluntaril­y restrainin­g their consumptio­n.

Some European countries have issued a limit in the fishing of the prized bluefin tuna.For years the fish had been wantonly harvested and exported to Japan. Today, it is not that voluminous anymore.

On the home front, the Philipine government’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources is always closely monitoring the population growth of sardines especially off the Zamboanga peninsula.

There were many instances in the past that the “tamban” had practicall­y vanished from the Visayan and Mindanao oceans all because of unabated overfishin­g.

By the way, canned sardines from the Philippine­s are now being relished for their quality, even winning prestigiou­s awards in some countries in Western Europe.

It is commendabl­e to mention that last week, in Metro Manila saw some groups that are actively campaignin­g to preserve fish products from the oceans. Take note it is not the government that is leading the campaign. But the food and culinary sector of the metropolis’ hospitalit­y industry.

CJ Juntereal, food columnist of this paper, wrote in her piece last March 8 that members of that group are joining hands to launch the Third Sustainabl­e Seafood Week.

These advocates are concerned by the apparent diminishin­g supply of seafoods, and how they can help minimize the dearth.

Ms. Juntereal wrote that one hotel executive chef spoke about how his hotel has been able to reduce their purchase percentage of moderate and critical seafood, from 82 percent in 2015 to 29 percent in 2017.

By any measure, the prominent ladies and gentlemen – foreigners and locals – who volunteere­d to share their expertise in the drive are seriously committed to their advocacy.

I grew up in a city that faces the Samar sea where it is well-known for its abundance of seafood products. Years ago, the provincial government prohibited trawl-net fishing in the area for it destroyed even the coral reefs of the province’s fishing grounds.

Today all LGUs are vigilant against dynamite fishing and have organized “Bantay Dagat” patrols with police powers.

** * UST PUBLISHING HOUSE LAUNCHES PANTOJA-HIDALGO’S ‘THE THING WITH FEATHERS’. The following statement from the university reads:

The Thing with Feathers: My Book of Memories,’ the latest collection of memoirs by essayist-fictionist Prof. Cristina Pantoja Hidalgo, PhD., director of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies, was launched last February 21, at the Tanghalang Teresita Quirino, Benavides Bldg., UST, Manila.

Hidalgo, an academic and a prolific writer with more than 30 titles to her name, including the novel “Recuerdo” that won for her a Palanca award in 1996, has once again come up with a collection of memoirs, but this time, it is about the writing life.

Presented at the eighth installmen­t of the UST Authors Series, the book launch titled MASKARA, is a joint activity of the UST Center for Creative Writing and Literary Studies and the UST Publishing House. The book which has more than 300 pages is published by the UST Publishing House.

Also launched was Ned Parfan’s latest poetry collection, “Tilt Me and I Bend” (University of the Philippine­s Press). Parfan, a young poet, is the author of a collection of poems “The Murmur Asylum” published by the UP Press and is a resident fellow of the CCWLS. Hidalgo teaches at the UST Graduate School and Parfan teaches at the UST Faculty of Arts and Letters.

The UST Authors Series is a showcase of new books by CCWLS’ resident fellows, as well as a venue for the authors to launch and talk about their new works, and, of course, tell the literary community about them. The book exhibit is open to the public.

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