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British group denies proposing Guimaras fishing ban

September 19, 2006

By Nestor P. Burgos Jr.
Inquirer

ILOILO CITY – The British marine conservation group Coral Cay Conservation (CCC) denied it recommended that President Macapagal-Arroyo declare a fishing ban in the waters around Guimaras province, contrary to the statement of Press Secretary Ignacio Bunye.

In an e-mail to Presidential Adviser for Western Visayas Rafael Coscolluela, CCC founder and chief executive officer Peter Raines said there was a “misinterpretation” of the discussion during his meeting with Arroyo in London last week.

“At no point was there any discussion (or mention made) of the concept of a fishing ban, anywhere in the Philippines; such a concept strikes against the founding principles for which Coral Cay Conservation stands,” Raines said in his e-mailed message to Coscolluela dated September 18.

CCC is a non-profit organization based in the United Kingdom that works for the conservation of coral reefs and tropical forests.

Its local partner is the Philippine Reef & Rainforest Conservation Foundation, Inc.

(For the full story, click British group, Sept. 19, 2006.)

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A few days ago, I also got an email from Mr. Raines, in response to my email asking to confirm the story that Coral Cay had offered to help the Philippines mitigate the oil spill.

In his message, Mr. Raines said, “CCC will assist in baseline surveys and mitigation measures. We can launch this assistance at a moment’s notice.”

Where the fishing ban idea came from is a good guess.

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