An Evaluation of The Commercial Fishing License Policy in The Philippines Public Deposited

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  • In the Philippines, the current licensing policy for commercial fishing does not significantly contribute to the general goals of fisheries management. It is a failure as a monitoring tool as evidenced by the absence of a comprehensive information system on fish catches, effort and area of operation. Fisheries licensing does not also contribute to revenue generation of the government because of the low and baseless fee system, i.e., a five-ton boat pays a total of P1,265 pesos or US$23 while a 500-ton boat pays US$ 128 to cover registration fee, vessel and gear license, and a cash bond covering a period of three years. The entire commercial fishing industry, excluding unregistered boats, contributed an average of US$40,000 or 1.2% of the national budget allocated to marine fisheries management. Comparing among fishing countries, data shows that the ratio of management costs to landings is estimated at US$1.9 for the Philippines compared to US$103 and US$143 for Japan and the United States, respectively. On a micro-level, studies show that licenses, when considered as part of operating costs, comprise less than 5% of total cost. The current licensing policy does not also contribute to access limitation because the government has not yet determined the total number of licenses that can be distributed; thus, anybody who can pay for the license is given one. Two techniques are being piloted by the ADB-JBIC funded- Fisheries Resource Management Project to rationalize current licensing policy mainly by revising the fee schedule: (i) economic rent and (ii) cost-recovery.
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  • Trinidad, Annabelle Cruz. 2004. An Evaluation of The Commercial Fishing License Policy in The Philippines. In: Proceedings of the Twelfth Biennial Conference of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, July 20-30, 2004, Tokyo, Japan: What are Responsible Fisheries? Compiled by Ann L. Shriver. International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade, Corvallis, Oregon, USA, 2004. CD ROM. ISBN 0-9763432-0-7
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