Issue of May 14, 2017
Mt. Province

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DOST encourages more studies on seaweed, Benham Plateau
by DOST release

Department of Science and Technology Sec. Fortunato T. de la Peña asked researchers to do more studies on high potential fishery resources like seaweeds and the Benham Rise, also known as the Benham Plateau.

“The DOST focuses on strengthening research and development initiatives in various fields including the fisheries sector because this will provide more opportunities for our marginalized fishermen in the regions and will help them uplift their economic condition,” dela Peña told 300 delegates composed of scientists, academicians, researchers and various industry stakeholders.

He emphasized, in particular, the importance of Benham Rise in the present administration’s thrust of reducing economic inequality through creation of more income opportunities coming from marine resources.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization, the country ranked eighth among the top fish producers in the world in 2016, with Central Visayas at the forefront. 

Benham Rise is a seismically active undersea region estimated to cover an area of about 13 million hectares located east of Luzon and is 35 meters underwater with the shallowest point located off the provinces of Aurora and Isabela. 

In April 2012, the United Nations Convention of the Law of the Sea recognized and officially approved the Philippines’ claim on Benham Rise as part of its continental shelf and territory. 

Based on initial studies, Benham Rise is rich in mineral, oil, and gas deposits like solidified methane that could help the country achieve self sufficiency in energy.

Sharing DOST’s thrust on research and development is Bohol 2nd District Rep. Erico Aristotle C. Aumentado, chair of the Science and Technology Committee in the Lower House as this he said will open doors to more opportunities without compromising the future.

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