The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources has strengthened efforts to stop illegal fishing in the country.
This as the Philippine Coast Guard , in a joint seaborne operation with BFAR, captured last week three fishing vessels engaged in illegal fishing activities.
“Our efforts to prevent and put a stop to illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing in the Philippine waters remain as one of our top priorities along with securing safe and affordable fish commodities for Filipinos and providing assistance to our fisherfolk especially during these challenging times,” BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona said in a statement on Tuesday.
The operators and crew of fishing vessels FBca JAMZYRIC, FBca JOSWYNE BROOKES and FBca 5 BROTHERS, who were caught using trawl fishing gear inside municipal waters, violated Section 86 (Unauthorized Fishing) and Section 95 (Use of Active Gears in Municipal Waters, Bays, and Other Fishery Management Areas) of the Republic Act (RA)8550, as amended by RA 10654.
The report said the fishing vessels were escorted to El Varadero, Sangley Point in Cavite City for proper documentation and filing of administrative charges.
Authorities found that the group caught more than P9,000 worth of fish catch.
Around 150 kilograms of hairtail (Trichiurus lepturus) with an estimated value of P5,000, 35kg of slipmouth with an estimated value of P4,000, and 35 kg of lizardfish (Saurida spp.) were found onboard the vessels.
DA-BFAR warned that illegal, unreported, and undocumented fishery is under eagle eyes’ watch as law enforcement teams continue to patrol and monitor not only Manila Bay but many of the country’s fishing grounds against such illegal activities.
The government agency also urged the public to be watchful and report any illegal fishing activities to the nearest BFAR Regional Office or local government unit.
“The Bureau together with concerned agencies are spending much effort for more compliance and less violations to rules and regulations but we cannot allow IUUF happening under our nose,” Gongona said.*PNA