BFAR bans fish­ing in Visayan Sea

An in­ter­a­gency en­force­ment team is re­ac­ti­vated to guard the Visayan Sea for three months to pre­vent any fish­ing ac­tiv­ity to al­low the pelagic marine species there to spawn.

The Freeman - - NEWS - ALDO NELBERT BANAYNAL B. Mi­asco/GAN — May

The Bureau of Fish­eries and Aquatic Re­sources (BFAR)-7 con­vened yes­ter­day af­ter­noon the of­fi­cials and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of con­cerned agen­cies to dis­cuss mat­ters in im­prov­ing sur­veil­lance in the Visayan Sea so as to de­ter all forms of fish­ing.

“We called for a meet­ing with all stake­hold­ers to map out the seaborne pa­trol scheme and har­mo­nize our com­mand,” said BFAR-7 Di­rec­tor Dr. Al­lan Po­quita.

The team is com­posed of BFAR-7 En­force­ment Unit; Philip­pine Na­tional Po­liceMar­itime Unit; Philip­pine Coast Guard-Dis­trict Cen­tral Visayas; and the Philip­pine Navy.

By es­tab­lish­ing a stronger link­age to­gether with the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units, the team can eas­ily iden­tify, lo­cate, and ar­rest vi­o­la­tors and con­fis­cate their ves­sels.

The com­pos­ite team also plans to use an ef­fec­tive com­mu­ni­ca­tion sys­tem dur­ing the 24/7 en­force­ment.

They also in­tend to trace as many in­tel­li­gence data as pos­si­ble of all il­le­gal ac­tiv­i­ties or any mo­dus operandi and iden­tify the con­nec­tions of or­ga­ni­za­tions be­hind the ves­sel's op­er­a­tors.

BFAR-7 planned a send­off cer­e­mony for the as­signed per­son­nel that will be held in Daan­ban­tayan, Cebu on Novem­ber 15 and also to launch for­mally the closed sea­son in the Visayan Sea.

This means, fish­ing in the Visayan Sea, which lies above the north­ern tip of Cebu, is pro­hib­ited from that day un­til Fe­bru­ary 15.

The closed sea­son is ac­tu­ally es­tab­lished through an ex­ist­ing pol­icy in­scribed un­der Fishery Ad­min­is­tra­tive Or­der 167-3.

Po­quita said the pol­icy was cre­ated to sup­port a sci­en­tific re­search that iden­ti­fies the three-month pe­riod as the spawn­ing sea­son of three marine species that in­cludes sar­dines, her­rings, and mack­erels found in the Visayan Sea.

The Visayan Sea, one of the coun­try's ma­jor fish­ing grounds abun­dant of pelagic fish­eries re­sources, is sur­rounded by is­lands: Cebu on the south­east; Ne­gros on the south; Panay on the west; and Mas­bate on the north.

Po­quita said pre­vent­ing any fish­ing ac­tiv­ity in the wa­ters would al­low for these species to grow and flour­ish in num­ber re­sult­ing to big­ger fish catch or fish­eries pro­duc­tion and gen­er­at­ing in­come to a num­ber of fish­ers.

He said they have done this for six years al­ready and fish­ing op­er­a­tors had been ob­serv­ing the pol­icy, how­ever, he does not in­tend to lower their guard.

On the part of BFAR, the re­gional of­fice is set to de­ploy its float­ing as­sets in­clud­ing pa­trol boats to be vis­i­ble in the hot spot fish­ing grounds to de­ter vi­o­la­tions.

As what has been im­ple­mented, small-scale fish­ers will be driven away from ven­tur­ing or fish­ing into the seas while com­mer­cial fish­ing op­er­a­tors will be ap­pre­hended.

A vi­o­la­tor, he said, may be im­pris­oned for six months to six years and may be fined with P6,000. If op­er­at­ing with li­cense, the owner's fish­ing per­mit may be can­celled, he added.

BFAR-7, through its ad­min­is­tra­tive ad­ju­di­ca­tion, will file the nec­es­sary charges and im­pose fine.

Mean­while, at least 83 new units of Fiber­glass Re­in­forced Plas­tic (FRP) sur­veil­lance boats is set to be dis­trib­uted on Novem­ber 16 in Car­men, Cebu to ben­e­fi­cia­ries, par­tic­u­larly coastal cities and mu­nic­i­pal­i­ties in Cebu and Bo­hol prov­inces.

What used to be a boat­mak­ing project of BFAR-7 has turned into aug­men­ta­tion of float­ing as­sets for coastal lo­cal­i­ties.

Po­quita said the project pro­motes eco-friendly tech­nol­ogy since the lo­cal­ly­made boats are made of fiber glass than tim­ber.

He said train­ing over 300 lo­cals in coastal vil­lages of the re­gion was part of the project of BFAR and had been funded by Se­na­tor Loren Le­garda. Each boat, mounted with 16 horse­power Honda en­gine, cost P85,000.

Po­quita said the boats will be turned over and will ben­e­fit the lo­cal gov­ern­ment units in re­in­forc­ing their seaborne pa­trol op­er­a­tions to de­ter il­le­gal fish­ing.

LO­CAL fiSHERMEN WILL HAVE TO fiND OTHER PLACES TO CATCH MARINE SPECIES IN THE NEXT THREE MONTHS, SINCE THE VISAYAN SEAS WILL BE CLOSED FOR fiSH­ING START­ING TO­MOR­ROW TO GIVE WAY FOR THE SPAWN­ING SEA­SON OF THREE MARINE SPECIES THAT IN­CLUDES SAR­DINES, HER­RINGS, AND MACK­ERELS.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Philippines

© PressReader. All rights reserved.