Sen. Cynthia Villar urged aquaculture practitioners and fish farmers to take part in solving plastic pollution in the country's bodies of water, which continues to threaten our fish supply.
As 32 fish farmers coming from Calabarzon, Occidental Mindoro, Oriental Mindoro, Marinduque, Albay, Catanduanes, Masbate, Camarines Sur, Sorsogon, Aklan, Pasay and Parañaque, graduate from the 5-day freshwater aquaculture training course at the Villar Sipag Farm School in Bacoor, Cavite, Villar stressed the seriousness of plastic pollution.
"None other than the experts of the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization, have predicted that by 2050 or 30 years from now, there will be no more fish in the ocean and we will be relying on aquaculture to supply our need for fish," Villar said.
The Nacionalista Party senator said the prediction is "not far-fetched" as fish supply continues to decrease from 70 percent wild catch and 30 percent aquaculture 20 years ago to 50 percent wild catch and 50 percent aquaculture at present.
Plastic pollution has been identified as one of the reasons why fish supply is dwindling in the ocean.
"I urge everyone of you to take part in solving this plastic pollution by observing within your homes and your communities proper waste disposal. The livelihood of millions of our kababayan and our food security is at stake," Villar said.
The lady senator added that Filipinos should work together especially in the light of a study showing the Philippines as the third largest producer of plastic wastes in the ocean, following China and Indonesia.
Villar also urged the graduates to take advantage of the many opportunities in aquaculture and to take to heart their role now as trainors, who will share their learnings to other people as they go back to their localities.
"Napakaimportante ng aquaculture because it is a source of livelihood sa ating mga kababayan. Kaya naman kami dito sa Villar Sipag kasama ang Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, gusto naming makatulong directly sa fishing communities at fish farmers kaya kami nagtuturo ng freshwater aquaculture lalo na sa aspeto ng bagong technology at proseso sa aquaculture. As you know, technology and technical expertise are important for farmers para mas maging profitable and competitive sila," Villar said.