BACOLOD City – Fish catch in the waters of Negros Island is dwindling, according to a study conducted by a researcher from UP-Diliman.
The study by Remelyn I. de Ramos of the Marine Sciences Institute (MSI) of UP-Diliman revealed that the problem of dwindling marine resources in Negros Occidental and Oriental has worsened.
The two provinces comprising the Negros Island Region have a combined population of 4,194,525 based on the latest census.
Negros Occidental has 2,907,859 people while Negros Oriental has 1,286,666 inhabitants.
Dwindling fish catch is attributed to climate change which causes storms and prolonged drought due to the impacts of the El Niño and La Niña phenomena, the study added.
The study said the same situation is happening all over the country, threatening the livelihood of 60 percent of the population who depend on fisheries.
The only food item that the region does not buy from neighboring regions is fish, which can still be caught at Tañon Strait and the waters of Negros Occidental.
Already, poverty level in Negros Occidental is a high 32.9 percent of the entire population while 24.9 percent of families live below poverty threshold.
The situation in the Oriental side is severe with 50.1 poverty incidence.
If the poverty trend continues, the NIR will have to depend more on the sea or aquaculture to feed the residents but reports of dwindling fish catch does not augur well for the inhabitants, the study stated.
De Ramos also discussed the impact of climate change on fisheries in a paper published by the Southeast Asian Regional Center for Graduate Study and Research in Agriculture this year.