The newly-developed Electronic Catch Documentation and Traceability (e-CDT) system will strengthen the Philippine government’s fight against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF) and sustainable management of the country’s waters.
About the initiative
According to a recent press release, the e-CDT system is a project of the Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), the USAID Oceans and Fisheries Partnership (USAID Oceans) and the Southeast Asian Fisheries Development Center (SEAFDEC).
It will document key information on fisheries products such as harvest, processing and transportation in order to enable traceability from harvest and point of origin to its destination.
This will eliminate the chances of having IUUF and illegally–caught fish from entering the market.
Aside from potentially curbing and eliminated IUUF in the country, the system’s wide-ranging use as a tool in potentially managing the Philippines’ vast marine and fisheries resources sustainably..
With the establishment of the Fisheries Management Areas (FMA), DA-BFAR is set on scaling up the implementation of the system from the project’s pilot site in General Santos City.
It will adopt most of its components while tailor-fitting the system to the area’s specific fisheries profile.
Data will be inputted into the system and processed to produce information, which can be used to establish management measures that are not only for fisheries conservation but also for increasing production.
e-CDT system project closeout
The partnership with USAID Oceans partnership is about to end after five years. A two-day event recently witnessed the USAID Oceans’ turnover of the program initiatives to the Philippines, which the country will carry forward.
USAID Oceans Chief of Party Mr John Parks explained that the closeout event marked the end of their work in the Philippines.
It also signified the transition of program initiatives and ongoing efforts to achieve shared objectives to the capable regional and local partners.
The event provided an opportunity to share lessons learned over the past five years. These lessons include:
- Improving sustainable management of fisheries
- Developing and implementing e-CDT technologies
- Advancing human welfare and gender equity
- Establishing strong partnerships to achieve common goals
The USAID Oceans Partnership, while inevitably concluding, sees a continued need to manage and conserve Southeast Asia’s fisheries through collecting and using data to guide management efforts.
For the Philippine government’s part, Department of Agriculture Secretary William Dar thanked the USAID Oceans and its local partners for spearheading the project.
The Agriculture Chief also expressed confidence to BFAR in raising the country’s fisheries productivity.
According to him, the sector contributes 18% – 19% to the gross value added in agriculture, which is considerably a very substantial contribution.
With the help of all these technologies, it is possible to enlarge, scale up, and unlock the potential of the sector, thereby increasing the contribution to 25% – 30%.
Indonesia’s initiative against IUUF
OpenGov Asia had reported on a similar initiative in Indonesia, which aimed to address IUUF. In 2018, the Government of Indonesia was amid preparations for an integrated system to tackle illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The new integrated system was first be tested in the Natuna Sea. The idea is to strengthen patrolling efforts in the area by stationing a tanker in the Natuna Sea to refuel patrol vessels.
Instead of having patrol vessels travel back and forth for refuelling, the standby tanker will allow patrol vessels to lengthen their missions from only a few days to a month. This will help authorities to increase efficiency of patrolling missions at a reduced cost.
Other than the tanker, the integrated system also aims at boosting the Government’s monitoring capabilities with the help of satellites and drones.
As a cross-agency effort, the integrated system will also have a fleet from the Indonesian Maritime Security Board, Bakamla, to ensure overall security.