A STUDY of the University of Philippines (UP)-Diliman showed that fish catch in Negros is dwindling.
The research of Remelyn I. de Ramos of the Marine Sciences Institute (MSI) of UP-Diliman revealed that the problem about the dwindling marine resources is even more pronounced in the two provinces that comprise the newly-established Negros Island Region (NIR).
Both have a total 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.
The same situation is happening all over the country that threatens the livelihood of 60 percent of the entire population dependent on fisheries, the study also showed.
The situation is due to climate change that causes storms and prolonged drought due to the impact of both the El Niño and La Niña phenomena, it added.
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, the poverty level in Negros Occidental is high at 32.9 percent of the entire population, and 24.9 percent of all families are below the threshold while the situation in the other half of the region is severe at 50.1 percent or 43.9 percent of all families.
In short, the NIR will have to depend more on the sea or aquaculture, to feed itself, but reports about dwindling fish catch does not augur well for the inhabitants, the study stated.
De Ramos 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 (Searca) this year. (TDE)