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Mancao on the use of social marketing for sustainable fisheries

“All want to take [the fish] but nobody wants to take care of the fish,” said Mr. Roquelito Mancao, Director for Technical Operations of RARE Philippines during a lecture on December 1, 2015 at the Pidlaoan Hall, UP Visayas, Miagao campus. RARE is an international conservation organization whose stated mission is to help communities adopt sustainable behaviors toward their natural environment and resources organization with the use of social marketing and technical interventions. 

At the start of his talk, Mancao said that the total land area of the Philippines is 300,000 sq. km, while its total territorial waters is 2.2 million sq. km, a vast resource of marine wealth for our country and people. 

“How do you argue with the reasoning of seasoned fishermen that fish never runs out,” he posed this question to his audience. He answered by saying that you can ask them to make a list of the fish they have been catching for decades and they will eventually see that the present catch are now the low-value species for the high-value ones have completely disappeared.

He emphasized that a change in people’s behavior is the only way that we can truly have sustainable fishing. To do this, he said that the use of marketing, particularly social marketing should be used. 

He defined marketing as, “the process of planning and executing the conception, pricing, promotion and distribution of ideas, goods and services to create exchanges that will satisfy individual and organizational behavior.”

“The use of social marketing techniques to improve social well-being by changing behavior and attitudes about social concerns, creates a change in the entire system or community,” he pointed out.

He said that people buy products that they know, products that they think they will get their money’s worth, products that can satisfy them, and products they can benefit from. 

He said that if we truly want to “sell” the idea of sustainable fisheries, we need to satisfy the fisherfolks’ question of “what’s in it for me” in order to have a change in behaviour. 

The lecture was organized by the Institute of Fisheries Policy and Development Studies, College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences and was made possible by the Academic Program Improvement fund.

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