MARIVELES, Bataan — A group of fishermen has proposed the rehabilitation of the entire coastal area here, as they complained that pollution – allegedly caused by big companies – along the coastlines has affected the livelihood of small fisherfolk and the health of villagers.
“We are trying to propose to the government to have a rehabilitation program in the entire coastal area of Mariveles where the problem is basically the pollution,” said Lloyd Reyes, president of the Bataan Anglers Association.
The group boarded a big fishing boat with the streamer “Coastal Municipal Water at Mamamayan Protektahan” and made the rounds of coastal villages here on Sunday.
Reyes said their activity was in observance of the Municipal Coastal Water Day and to promote their advocacy of protecting the environment, especially in fishing villages.
“Nais naming magkaroon ng awareness kung ano ba nangyayari ngayon sa (we want to create awareness on what is happening now ) in the coastal water and what will be the remedy or solution to protect the local fishermen and the environment itself,” he said.
Reyes claimed that pollutants coming from big companies along the coastline have been affecting the villagers’ health and source of livelihood for many years now. He said they were surprised that huge firms have set up business along the coastlines allegedly without public consultation.
“Ito tinututulan namin kung bakit nagkaroon ng malalaking kumpanya sa baybaying-dagat without the knowledge of the public. Kailangan magkaroon ng awareness, information. Tinututulan namin ang idinudulot na polusyon ng malalaking kumpanya sa baybaing-dagat (This is what we have been opposing, why there are big companies along the coastline established without the knowledge of the public. There must be awareness information. We are against the pollution being caused by the big companies along the coastlines),” he said.
He said that in Barangay Cabcaben alone, there are 300 fishermen who were affected by what he called “ancestral” fishing ground.
“Before lalayo ka lamang ng kalahating kilometro, makakakuha na ng malalaking isda. Ngayon kailangan pang dumayo ng Cavite (Before, you can catch big fish within half a kilometer from the coastlines. But now, you need to go as far as Cavite),” Reyes said.
He said that in many portions of the coastlines of Mariveles, there are many piers and other infrastructures.
“Ang daming nasalantang fishing ground. Literal na tinamaan ang maliliit na mangingisda. Nananawagan kami sa LGU, national na bigyan kami ng pansin. Tingnan ang komunidad ng maliliit na mangingisda (There are many fishing grounds that were damaged. The small fishermen were literally affected. We are asking the local government unit and the national government to give us attention. Look at the community of the small fishermen). This time, let us start to stand up for fishermen,” he said. Ernie Esconde / PNA – northboundasia.com