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標題: [海洋保育] Cebu town mayor to residents: Kill the dolphins, sharks, whales
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發表於 2015-2-19 23:47  資料 文集 短消息 
Cebu town mayor to residents: Kill the dolphins, sharks, whales

Newspaper report
http://manilastandardtoday.com/2 ... hins-sharks-whales/
Cebu town mayor to residents: Kill the dolphins, sharks, whales
By Junex Doronio | Feb. 13, 2015 at 12:01am

DUMANJUG, Cebu—Mayor Nelson Garcia has maintained that marine animals on Tañon Strait are “parasites” and their population should be controlled by killing some of them, shrugging off criticisms from environmentalists.

At a summit on environment on Tuesday, Garcia said that dolphins, whales, and sharks should be killed because they caused the decline of fish catch.

“If you catch a whale, then kill it. What is more important, the whale or us?” he said.

The mayor explained that the increasing population of dolphins, whales and sharks in the coastal town has reduced the supply of fish resulting in high prices of seafoods in the local market.

Garcia said these marine species as competitors of humans because they consume more than a ton of fish a day.

Gloria Ramos, vice president of Oceana, an international marine conservation organization, said that Garcia was apparently among some individuals who are just not well-informed of the significance of the role of marine animals such as dolphins, whales and sharks.

“Obviously mayors also are not aware of the inter connectivity of our life support system with our livelihood, with our life,” she said.

Ramos cited sharks as an example that keeps the balance in the ecosystem. She added that there is a need for an information campaign on the ecosystem.

But Garcia stood pat on his decision to “control” the marine animals on Tañon strait.

These marine animals have become a tourist draw in Cebu.



Online media report
http://www.rappler.com/nation/83 ... ale-sharks-dolphins
Cebu town mayor: Kill whale sharks, dolphins
The mayor of Dumanjug in Cebu province says the sea creatures are responsible for the fish shortage in Tañon Strait, one of the country's biggest fishing grounds
By Pia Ranada  Published 6:22 PM, Feb 11, 2015

CEBU CITY, Philippines – "I want to kill those whale sharks."

This was the strongly-voiced sentiment of Nelson Garcia, mayor of Dumanjug town in Cebu, during an environmental summit on Wednesday, February 11.

His was a lone but persistent voice in the forum, which sought to finalize a general management plan for Tañon Strait, the country's biggest marine protected area and one of its major fishing grounds.

Garcia, a brother of former Cebu Governor Gwen Garcia, says whale sharks and dolphins are pests, eating two tons of fish a day.

"I want to regulate, not eradicate…. The whales are competing with the fishermen. Right now, I allow. If they catch a whale, kill the whale. Why not?" he told reporters on the sidelines of the event.

When asked if he knew that killing whale sharks and dolphins, both endangered animals, is a crime under national and local laws, he quoted the Bible.

"Man should be the first to survive, not the whales, not the fish, because we will be violating the Bible. God said, man have dominion over the ocean, the fishes, the birds, the animals, and subdue it. That is the order of God."

When asked what he thought of scientific studies showing that protecting whale sharks and dolphins leads to healthier and more abundant seas, he said, "That's only a theory."

But environment officials and scientists, including Tañon Strait expert Dr Lem Aragones said overfishing and pollution in the strait are to blame for decreasing fish catch.

Today, fishermen are only able to catch 2 kilograms of fish a day. In the 1970s, they would catch around 5 kilograms.

'Allow commercial fishers'

Garcia had more problems with the proposed management plan. In several manifestations he made to the 400-member assembly, he insisted commercial fishing should be allowed in the waters of the strait.

Since Tañon Strait is a protected area, commercial fishers are supposedly not allowed to harvest there. Because the strait is only around 30 kilometers in width, its entirety is considered municipal waters, meaning only municipal fishers are allowed inside.

But because the Fisheries Code allows mayors to make the last call on whether or not to allow fishers, some mayors, including Garcia, let commercial fishers in.

It is an open secret in Tañon Strait communities that some local officials share business interests with commercial fishers.

Commercial fishers, however, are banned from critical marine areas because their massive and efficient fishing methods tend to wipe out fish stocks faster than they can revive. This was according to Dr Mike Hirshfield, chief scientist of conservation group Oceana, which co-convened the summit.

Garcia said commercial fishing provides income for his constituents.

Municipal fishers put up payaos, or floating artificial reefs, which attract large numbers of fish. A few months after, commercial fishing vessels come to harvest the fish gathered around the payaos. The commercial fishers then pay the municipal fishers for their assistance, said Garcia. There are around 500 fisherfolk in his town.

'Illegal' protected area

Garcia also insisted that Tañon Strait is not yet a protected area, thus it is illegal to prohibit commercial fishers from entering it. The body of water became a protected seascape by virtue of a 1998 presidential proclamation by then President Fidel Ramos.

"Only Congress has the power to declare a protected area. Not even the President can do that," the mayor said.

Republic Act 7586 or the National Integrated Protected Areas Act says protected areas declared by presidential proclamation or executive order before the effectivity of the law are to be recognized as protected areas.

The proclamation protecting Tañon Strait was issued 6 years after the NIPAS Act was approved in 1992.

But Section 6 of the law says the environment secretary may propose more protected areas and that a presidential proclamation can be the basis for a law.

"A presidential proclamation is a first step, according to the NIPAS. It went through the same process, culminating in the proclamation," said Liza Osorio, an environmental lawyer and managing trustee of the Philippine Earth Justice Center.

With or without the law, the protection of Tañon Strait is necessary, she added.

"The area is of national and global significance. It's the migratory path of large marine species."

Although Garcia's sentiments were surprising to environmentalists and scientists present at the gathering, Osorio, who spoke as one of the panelists in some sessions, respects his right to voice them.

"He may have been the only one brave enough to say those things. Maybe the other [local officials] have the same understanding. I welcome any debate on that. If it's a way to increase their knowledge and bring them over to our side, that's our challenge."

[ 本帖最後由 Carmen 於 2015-2-20 00:01 編輯 ]
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發表於 2015-2-19 23:58  資料 文集 短消息 
Original article online is divided into PartI and II
PartI: http://savephilippineseas.org/po ... as-proposal-to-kill
PartII: http://savephilippineseas.org/po ... as-proposal-to-kill

A response to Mayor Garcia’s proposal to ‘kill whales and dolphins in Tañon Strait

Text and photo by Angelico Tiongson  

Note from the author: This is a response to Dumanjug, Cebu Mayor Nelson Gamaliel Garcia’s statement on the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS). Let me be clear that I was not at the Tañon Strait Summit, and that I am only responding based on what was published in the news on February 11, 2015.

I commend Mayor Garcia for being a responsible government official to his constituents by voicing out their concerns. According to the reports, he was the lone opposition to this General Management Plan and the TSPS overall during the summit.

According to Garcia, the TSPS should be relegated, and that dolphin populations and other marine megafauna should be controlled. In this article, I will present four points against his arguments.

Firstly, Garcia believes that the fisheries resource within the Tañon Strait is very low, and that this has had a great impact among the 500 fisherfolk within his Local Government Unit (LGU). He cited that the fishermen no longer catch enough fish and fully blames the low catch on the dolphins. He called them “parasites,” and proposed that the nationally protected seascape status of the Tañon Strait be relegated and returned to the jurisdiction of the municipality. As a protected seascape, municipalities that are part of Tañon Strait are still responsible for enforcing the protected seascape policies in their municipal waters, but they do not have authority on what the policies should be. Dissolving the TSPS, he believes, would be beneficial to his constituents.

Here lies the problem. At this very moment when the Tañon Strait holds a protected seascape status, Garcia said that he is allowing commercial fishing within his municipal waters. Several witnesses have reported that commercial fishing happens within what would have been Dumanjug’s municipal waters, with Garcia’s full knowledge. A few of Garcia’s constituents allegedly profit from the exploitation of these commercial fishers who are not from Tañon Strait. And yet, Garcia argues that the dolphins are to blame for the 500 municipal fisherfolk in his town to not have enough fish to catch.

Garcia also appears to be unaware that there are no physical boundaries that separate municipal waters from the rest of the Tañon Strait. Municipal waters are only delineated by imaginary lines (15 kilometers from the coastline), which means that the fisheries resource within Dumanjug’s waters are also shared by all other LGUs. Simply put, allowing commercial fishing in one part of the strait will affect the entire strait.

This brings me to my second point that Garcia appears to be unaware of the concept of sustainability. In the most elementary definition, sustainability is the recognition that every resource is finite, and that intergenerational equity and responsibility should be considered in all relevant decisions. Garcia believes that by relegating the TSPS, allowing commercial fishing, and culling dolphins, it will solve the current issue of the low catch of the fisherfolk in Dumanjug. However, research shows that there is a real danger of fishing Tañon Strait to the point of collapse, even in just one human generation.

This short-term and one-dimensional answer from a politician is not surprising. After all, politicians have a limited term in office, and receive an avalanche of complaints from their constituents. Essentially what Garcia wants is to have fish for all people now. As long as the 500 fishermen now are happy, then he feels he is doing the right thing. But Garcia will then have to answer to his children and his children’s children on why they no longer have fish to eat, and no more dolphins to see.

Problem not solved.

My third point is that Garcia’s solution is centered solely on Dumanjug. Other than being responsible only to his constituents, another fundamental responsibility of a local official is to fit his overall decisions within the puzzle of the broader geopolitical landscape of the Philippines, and in the larger context of global biodiversity conservation. These 500 fishermen are not just from Dumanjug, nor are they just Cebuanos: they too are Filipinos. The Tañon Strait isn’t just for the sole use of these fishermen or Dumanjug. The TSPS is of global significance in terms of biodiversity. If that doesn’t make sense to him, then I question why he wanted to serve the people of Dumanjug.

Lastly, and perhaps the most sensitive part of Garcia’s unfounded solution to satisfy the needs of a couple of hundred fisherfolk: remove dolphins and other marine megafauna from the wild. He made it clear that he won’t eradicate them all, just “some.”

I presume Garcia is an educated man, and must be an expert at something. But clearly he is not an expert on ecology, as he doesn’t know what a parasite means. He argues that the dolphins are a competition to the fishermen on the fisheries resource and says that they are causing much of the decline of fish in the strait.

This is not parasitism.

We know certain habitats have certain carrying capacities and can only support a certain population size of animals. In the case of Tañon Strait, the dolphins are severely under threat to by-catch and entanglement and numbers have been at a decline over the last decade. This means that the dolphins are not “too many,” but perhaps are just returning to their natural numbers. Research is still ongoing at this point. It is we who are competing against the dolphins for the fish and not the other way around.

Whales and dolphins are a natural part of the ecosystem in Tañon Strait. As apex predators, they help maintain the balance of the food web by controlling the prey populations which effectively reduces the strain on the primary and secondary producers. But more importantly, these marine mammals are highly social creatures with very complex social systems. This particular aspect in their life history is important in shaping the communities of dolphins in Tañon Strait, and consequently, the habitat that they live in. This sociality is reflected in some dolphins having preferred relationships with an individual or a group of dolphins, and some casual acquaintances with others. Killing of animals or the indiscriminate removal of these biological units disrupts the very core of these social systems. Killing a few dolphins could lead to the destruction of entire communities of these highly intelligent creatures and the collapse of an ecosystem—which we are a part of. We must not forget that the sea is but a mere extension of our natural habitat.

It is hard to believe that Garcia is averse to trusting scientific studies and merely refer to these as theories, while he parades what he thinks is a perfectly reasonable argument to exploit Tañon Strait without holding responsibility to the broader community. What I hope to make clear is how very little thought came into forming his so-called solution.

To summarize, Mr. Garcia is unaware of so many basic concepts that an informed citizen should know, especially one who holds a position of significance in the community. Garcia’s solution is fundamentally flawed, making him appear selfish, ignorant, and short-sighted. I urge him to reconsider his arguments or challenge him to address my points.

Angelico Tiongson studied at Silliman University in Dumaguete, Philippines andInternational Christian University in Tokyo, Japan before graduating at Silliman in 2012. In his senior year, he volunteered as a research assistant for a behavioural study on humpback whales in Australia. After graduation, he worked as a research assistant at the Institute of Environmental and Marine Sciences on various projects before moving to The Swire Institute of Marine Science at The University of Hong Kong to work on the Chinese pink dolphins and to handle his own conservation project in the Philippines. He has worked on ecology and conservation of marine mammals in Hong Kong, Philippines and Australia.
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發表於 2015-2-20 17:25  資料 文集 短消息 
簡介Tañon Strait的生態及主要威脅:

http://ph.oceana.org/sites/defau ... sh.compressed_1.pdf

"...Today the Tañon Strait lacks sufficient enforcement, and destructive fishing, illegal fishing and pollution jeopardize the food security of the thousands of people living along its shores..."
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發表於 2015-2-21 00:13  資料 文集 短消息 
菲律賓當地報紙The Freeman對Dumanjug市長Nelson Garcia的言論作出評論
(簡而言之, 市長Garcia的言論固然嚇到一眾環保人士和科學研究員, 同時揭示有效保護菲律賓最大海洋保護區Tañon Strait的現實困難)


http://www.philstar.com/freeman- ... saving-tanon-strait
Saving Tañon Strait
Editorial: The Freeman| Updated February 15, 2015 - 12:00am

The urgent need to protect the Tañon Strait has taken an ugly turn when a municipal mayor called on stakeholders to take steps in controlling the growing population of what he calls "parasites" in the area.

Dumanjug town Major Nelson Garcia has taken a combative stand against those whales, sharks, and dolphins in the Tañon Strait, claiming they have become a major burden for fishermen in the area.

Because they now aggressively compete with fishermen for fish, Garcia is seeking for measures that would control those sea animals to protect the people who depend upon the Tañon Strait for their livelihood.        

Of course, Garcia's odd statement would then hog the headlines. And the fact that he delivered it during a summit aimed at finding ways to save the Tañon Strait has caught environmentalists by surprise.

Now Garcia, who became an instant social media celebrity, has been the subject of intense criticisms from environmental advocates. Those behind the move to protect the huge body of water separating Cebu and Negros islands said the mayor should remember that there are laws that protect those kinds of marine species.

This controversy only showed a major crack in the campaign to protect the strait from environmental degradation. This is a serious concern that the government should immediately address.

By calling for the need to regulate the population of these "parasites," Garcia is undeniably supporting the idea of slaughtering some whales, sharks, and dolphins in order to protect the thousands who rely upon the Tañon Strait for a living.

But his remark also revives the serious issue about the blatant disregard of the environment. In a country where environmental abuse is rampant, going after those violators has always been a problem because some of those who are supposed to be protectors are, themselves, involved.

The real issue here lies in the absence of a united stand among the Tañon Strait stakeholders.
If they are really serious about preserving the country's largest marine protected area, a cohesive approach toward conserving every life is needed.

[ 本帖最後由 Carmen 於 2015-2-21 00:17 編輯 ]
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