Fisheries Management Areas
The recently approved Fisheries Administrative Order No. 263, series of 2019 provides the policy framework on the Establishment of Fisheries Management Areas (FMA) for the Conservation and Management of Fisheries in Philippine Waters.
The FMAs were established based on considerations of stock boundaries/ranges/distributions, structure of fisheries as well as administrative divisions, through consultation with stakeholders.
A priority area intended under this FAO is the Establishment of Management Body (MB) in the twelve FMAs. The MB shall formulate internal operational rules and regulations for the FMAs as well as responsible in setting of policies and programs for the FMAs, including the development of the EAFM Plan for the FMA or (FMA Plan), the establishment of Reference Points and Harvest Control Rules as well as other conservation and management measures.
The FMAs follow a science-based measure anchored on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries Management (EAFM) as provided under the amended Fisheries Code and are to be undertaken. The Bureau is tasked to facilitate the preparation of EAFM Plans for identified fisheries management areas (FMA) together with the LGUs and other stakeholders. LGUs adopt the EAFM Plan and translate management actions into local ordinances and policies in their respective municipal waters. BFAR adheres to the EAFM plan to implement national programs under the FMA. In FY 2023, eleven (11) Management Boards are predicted to be established and operationalized, while four (4) reference points/harvest control rules/harvest control measures will be established.