MANILA, May 31 (Xinhua) -- The World Bank approved a 176-million-U.S. dollar loan on Wednesday to fund a fisheries project that aims to improve fisheries management, enhance the value of fisheries production, and elevate incomes in coastal communities in the Philippines.
The multilateral lender said in a statement that the project will benefit over 1.15 million fisherfolk, small-to-medium businesses and residents in coastal communities.
According to the bank, the fisheries sector contributes 1.3 percent to the Southeast Asian country's gross domestic product. It provides approximately 1.6 million jobs, or around 4 percent of the labor force, including for low-income families engaged in subsistence fishing.
However, the sector has faced challenges, with fish stocks declining by an average of 20 percent over the past decade due to over-exploitation, destructive fishing methods, habitat degradation, and negative impacts from land-based activities.
This project aligns with the country's commitment to environmentally sound practices in fishing and aquaculture while ensuring improved incomes for those involved in the sector, said Ndiame Diop, World Bank Country Director for Brunei, Malaysia, Philippines and Thailand.
"The long-term goal is to foster enhanced community resilience in these coastal regions, which will be reflected in thriving fish stocks, improved food security, reduced poverty and heightened competitiveness in key seafood commodities," Diop added.