May 1, 2011 to May 31, 2011
The month of May has been declared as the Month of the Ocean through a Proclamation issued by the then President Joseph Estrada on 09 January 1999. Proclamation No. 57 recognizes that “Coastal and Marine resources provide both economic and ecological benefits such as food, livelihood, recreation and other services as well as biodiversity, aesthetic value, and shoreline protection.
The proclamation also reiterated the provision in the Constitution that “the State shall protect the nation’s marine wealth in its archipelagic waters, territorial sea, and exclusive economic zone, and reserve its use and enjoyment exclusive to Filipino Citizens.
The Philippines has one of the world’s longest coastlines, stretching up to 36,289 kilometers. About 70 percent of the country’s municipalities are located in coastal areas. Coastal fishing activities contribute about 60 percent of the country’s fish catch, and the fisheries sector employs over a million Filipinos. It is therefore of utmost importance to conserve, protect and manage our coastal resources.