July 28, 2015, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture (DA-BFAR) held a rare one-day event dubbed as #LegendsTalkOnPHFisheries at the Bahay ng Alumni, UP Diliman in Quezon City.

The successful event gathered scientists, industry leaders and, public servants to discuss their expertise in a once in a lifetime forum about the Philippine fisheries sector.

“We organized #Legends in order to widen the perspective and awareness of fishery stakeholders as well as non-fishery participants on the present challenges besetting the Philippine fisheries and aquatic resources,” Agriculture Secretary Proceso J. Alcala said.

National Scientists Dr. Edgardo Gomez, Dr. Gavino C. Trono, Dr. Angel C. Alcala; academicians, Dr. Sonia Yuson De Leon and Dr. Rafael Guerrero; industry leaders, Francisco Buencamino, Marfenio Tan, Francisco Tiu-Laurel and public official, Gov. Alfredo Marañon, Jr. are among the key speakers, who shared their knowledge and expertise to students, members of the academe, non-governmental organizations (NGOs), government officers, public officials, fisherfolk representatives and private sector, which make up an estimated number of 700 participants.

Alcala said the successful turnout of participants and resource persons is a good indication that more and more people are showing concerns for the fisheries sector and the country’s marine and inland aquatic resources.    

Aside from the discussions on Philippine fisheries, DA Undersecretary for Fisheries and concurrent BFAR director Asis G. Perez said the insights during the event will also make way for an updated Comprehensive National Fisheries Industry Development Plan (CNFIDP), which will kick off the development of a more timely, relevant and, comprehensive framework for promoting the optimal development and sustainability of benefits derived by the country from its fisheries.

“Our CNFIDP must emanate from a collective and participatory approach, which provides equal say to all fishery stakeholders in developing the nation’s policy on fisheries development,” he said.

Among the notable guests who graced the event were Cebu 4th District Representative and House Committee on Aquaculture and Fisheries Resources Chairperson Benhur Salimbangon, and Atty. Rhaegee Tamana, who represented and delivered the keynote speech of Senator Cynthia Villar, Chairperson of the Senate Agriculture and Food Committee.