Written by Jen Finn
The United Nations’ (UN) Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) called for prompt and sustainable actions to help rebuild the livelihoods of those in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors in the regions affected by Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines.
According to preliminary assessments by the Philippines’ Department of Agriculture, small-scale fishers were the worst-affected by the calamity, While larger commercial boats suffered less damage, several small boats and fishing gear were either destroyed or damaged. About 16,500 seaweed farmers – mostly women – lost their livelihoods.
The typhoon flattened crucial infrastructure, including jetties, landing ports, on-shore ice and cold storage facilities, boat repair and maintenance facilities, processing factories and markets. Key aquaculture infrastructure, including oyster rafts, crab, shrimp and mussel farms, as well as inland tilapia cages, hatcheries and fish ponds, was also destroyed.
“Although we still only have a partial picture, it is clear that the damage caused to the fisheries sector is immense and spans the entire value chain, from catch to market,” said Rodrigue Vinet, acting FAO representative in the Philippines, adding that in the context of livelihoods, these losses were crippling.
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