This  study assesses a number of potential management options that could help protect biodiversity in the Visayan Sea and help its fishing communities to earn a better living. The Visayan Sea is one of the most important and threatened marine areas in the Philippines. It is a source of income and food for thousands of people and an ecological resource of world importance. However, over exploitation means that fishing in the area is no longer sustainable, that fish stocks are suffering and that fishing communities are losing their livelihoods. The study finds that the best way forward would be to use a combination of management options, including putting in place a marine protected area and implementing various fishing bans. The study also recommends that a single management body should be set up to oversee the implementation of this multi-pronged approach. It is clear that the current state of the Visayan Sea calls for immediate intervention to arrest further decline in the quality of the marine resource. Any delay in addressing the problems the sea faces will simply worsen the difficult situation many fishers already face. If action is delayed until the fishery resource in the sea totally collapses then a major social crisis will be unavoidable.

 

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Evaluation of Fisheries Management Options for the Visayan Sea, Philippines