Dr. Mildred O. Moscoso, associate professor at the Department of Educational Communication (DEC), published an article in Portrait of Small-Scale Fishers in the Philippines, an e-book launched by the Too Big To Ignore (TBTI) Global Research Network. The book launch was held via Zoom on 12 July 2023.

The e-book consists of essays and stories about 83 small-scale fishers from 125 contributors from all over the country. It sought to raise awareness about issues surrounding small-scale fisherfolks’s lives, the status of their livelihood, and the interventions needed to support them. UP Visayas Professors Dr. Alice Joan G. Ferrer and Dr. Harold M. Monteclaro served as book editors of the publication.

Dr. Moscoso’s article contribution, titled Francis Reyes: the young gillnet fisher and the Laguna Lake, creatively articulates the experiences and challenges faced by Francis Reyes, a small-scale fisherman in Brgy. Mayondon, Los Baños Laguna. In her work, she narrated how fishing was a vocation that Francis enjoyed and grew up with.

However, despite Francis’ pride and optimism in this livelihood, he still wanted his children to have a secure future that did not depend solely on the lake. Stability of catch is threatened by numerous factors such as deterioration of the lake water quality resulting from the increase of wastes (e.g. agricultural, domestic, and industrial wastes), climate change, and unsustainable fishing practices, which would force him to look for other sources of income. In Francis’ words, “tamang diskarte” (just the right amount of resourcefulness) is necessary in times of scarcity of fish in the lake.

TBTI is a global research network and knowledge mobilization partnership that aims to address the concerns and issues surrounding small-scale fishermen worldwide. In 2022, TBTI established a new hub in the Philippines based in UP Visayas. This partnership between TBTI and UPV was deemed important in pursuit of extending support to small-scale fishermen (SSF), deemed to be a marginalized sector in the country.

You may access the full ebook here. (Gerald Pesigan)

Cover photo: Francis Reyes and Dr. Mildred Moscoso during their interview for the article, 23 September 2022. (Mario Maningas & John Anthony Mendoza.)