Communication emphasized as key to BFAR’s policymaking, program implementation

ILOILO CITY (PIA) — As the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is currently focusing on the socio-economic aspects while minding the ecological well-being of the nation’s fisheries resources, it constantly looks at improving the ways to disseminate relevant information to its various stakeholders through the creation of radio plugs, posters, radio drama, and policy briefs, among others.

With this, the fisheries bureau in partnership with the United States Aid for International Development (USAID) “Fish Right” Program led a design-thinking workshop for the refinement of its communication tools, materials, and plans that are vital in its policy and program implementation.

As a result of the workshop, the participants identified radio as the most appropriate medium to deliver fisheries information relevant to the management of fisheries resources.

The core group together with BFAR staff members from Regions 5, 6, and 7 that were included in Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 11, primarily targets to address pressing concerns that not only affect the environment but also impact the livelihoods of many coastal

USAID Fish Right Fisheries Eco-Modelling Specialist Regina Bacalso imparts her knowledge on fisheries management during the BFAR 6 workshop of communication tools. (PIA Region 6)

communities, particularly the use of fine mesh nets and conservation of the blue swimming crabs.

“Our goal is for the stakeholders to practice voluntary compliance because they know, understand, and appreciate the importance of looking after our resources,” said BFAR 6 Information Officer Rheanne Senangote.

The sessions involved the various stakeholders who analyzed and appraised some of the existing communication materials of the BFAR 6 based on the perspectives of the different audiences such as the municipal and commercial fishers, local government units, consumers, and BFAR personnel.

Fisheries Management Area (FMA) 11 Core Team participate in the refinement of communication tools workshop of the BFAR 6 in Iloilo City. (PIA Region 6)

“Through the workshop, participants have explored effective communication strategies to raise awareness, inspire change, and mobilize communities, and industries towards sustainable fisheries solutions,” Senangote added.

As the final output of the activity, a draft communication plan was formulated to identify appropriate measures and enhance the delivery of messages that will benefit the fisheries management in the Visayan seas.

BFAR 6 regional director Remia A. Aparri meanwhile noted that the use of communication materials is imperative in cascading the advocacy and policies of the agency to the different levels of stakeholders.

Further, as the Bureau is working on the alternative fine mesh nets, information officers are likewise tasked to work on communicating important concepts to the stakeholders including the blue swimming crab biology and ways to contain Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated (IUU) Fishing, and the beginning of the Visayan Sea closed season, among others.

“As we communicate and put into layman’s language the current policies and programs we are pushing, we see these communication materials to be vital tools that would spur compliance of our different levels of stakeholders,” said Aparri.

Currently, the BFAR is also pushing primary efforts to improve the brand of Philippine blue swimming crabs in the market and particularly boost the livelihood source of the people through its Blue Swimming Crab Adopt-a-Village Project, the banner program of FMA 11, launched on May 9 with the pilot site in Brgy. Igbon of Concepcion town in Iloilo.  (AAL/AGP/PIA 6)

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