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Dutch envoy gauges impact of dredging in Manila Bay

Posted on May 24, 2023

Dutch Ambassador to the Philippines Marielle Garadaets recently held a consultation meeting with Cavite fisherfolk to look into the impacts of dredging activities to people and the environment in Manila Bay.

In particular, the Dutch ambassador is looking into the alleged adverse environmental and social impact of the dredging operation of Boskalis, a Dutch maritime construction firm tapped by local corporations involved in one of the reclamation projects in Manila Bay.

Fisherfolk from various towns in Cavite asserted that the Boskalis dredging project should be immediately terminated, citing its alleged adverse effects to fishing activities.

They alleged the activities cause the disruption of marine life and are driving away of fish due to noise pollution caused by dredging equipment.  The ongoing activities also trigger bigger waves and increased tidal currents in dredging sites.

Moreover, fisherfolk group Pamalakaya said fishing nets are being hauled by dredging equipment along with the sand.

Lastly, the group said the ongoing activities are causing a drastic decline in fish stocks, blaming it to dredging-related pollution, ecological disruptions, and stressors.

Pamalakaya spokesperson Ronnel Arambulo, who was present in the consultation, told the Dutch envoy to hold the Boskalis accountable for the damages it has inflicted on the livelihood of local fishers, as well as to the marine environment and fisheries resources.

The group reported an 80 percent decline in the average fish catch of fisherfolk since the dredging operations started two years ago.


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