The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) will begin dismantling alleged illegal aquaculture structures in some coastal towns in Cavite with direct access to Manila Bay starting September 7.
The Cavite Task Force Group for Manila Bay placed billboards in conspicuous places in Kawit, Noveleta, Cavite City and Bacoor City informing the public about the demolition and advising the owners to self-demolish their structures before the given date.
Fish pens, cages, stationary lift nets, fish corrals, and mussel farms were among the unlicensed structures to be demolished according to the notice.
The demolition was ordered by DENR Secretary Roy Cimatu in July after bamboo poles drifted from Cavite into the shore of Manila Bay following heavy monsoon rain.
Fishers group’s reaction
The Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) on Thursday slammed DENR’s decision, claiming that it would take away the livelihood of over 15,000 fishermen and coastal residents in the affected town.
PAMALAKAYA stated in a Manila Bulletin report that the regulation is “unjust and anti-fisherfolk” because majority of the affected residents rely on aquaculture in Manila Bay.
“The real targets of this Manila Bay ‘clean up’ are the poor fishing and coastal population across the bay and not the toxic emitting and pollution spawning industrial and commercial establishments,” said PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap.
“We warn of strong opposition against this destruction of our livelihood and fishing waters under the guise of a bogus clean-up drive,” Hicap added.
Hicap also emphasized that the bamboo poles washed away along the bay are not pollutants that can harm the marine ecosystem.
“It’s a common sense that disposed bamboos will naturally submerge in water and eventually decompose,” he added.