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'Strict' commercial fishing still allowed in Philippine Rise May 16,2018   |  Source: SunStar

Philippines' President Rodrigo Duterte has allowed the "strict" enforcement of commercial fishing in the 13-million hectare Philippine Rise, even after he declared the resource-rich undersea region a marine resource reserve.

Duterte made the remark on Tuesday, May 15, after announcing that he signed a presidential proclamation, formally declaring a portion of the Philippine Rise as a marine resource reserve, in an effort to control activities within and protect the underwater plateau.

"We have to think of the future generations. There will be commercial fishing here but it will be done strictly, in accordance with accepted principles of the preservation of marine life," he said during the send-off rites for Filipino scientists who will conduct maritime study within the vast waters of the Philippine Rise.

Under the President's proclamation, some 50,000 hectares of the Philippine Rise shall become a Strict Protection Zone limited to a scientific studies, while 300,000 hectares shall be designated as a Special Fisheries Management Area.

Prior the declaration of the underwater region as marine resource reserve, Duterte on May 16, 2017 renamed Benham Rise to Philippine Rise to assert the Philippines' sovereign rights to the area.

In 2012, the United Nations Commission


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