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2 vessels busted in Bicol waters due to illegal fishing

By Danica D. Caballero

LEGAZPI CITY---Last week’s joint operation of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-5) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) resulted in the apprehension of two commercial fishing vessels in municipal waters of two provinces in Bicol region.

In an interview, Nonie Enolva, BFAR-5 spokesperson, said the team apprehended a commercial fishing vessel in the waters off Burias Island of Masbate province and another within the municipal waters of Balatan in Camarines Sur province.

Enolva said the skippers and crew of the vessels violated RA 10654 or the Fisheries Code which penalizes unauthorized fishing and use of active gear in municipal waters, bays, and other fishery management areas.

In a statement, BFAR-5 Regional Director Ariel Pioquinto emphasized the provisions of the Fisheries Code that it is unlawful to fish without a license or permit from the government and for a commercial fishing vessel to fish in municipal waters.

BFAR-5 and Philippine Coast Guard operatives apprehend this medium-scale commercial fishing vessel operating a purse seine (pangulong) within the municipal waters of Balatan town in Camarines Sur on Friday, January 27. (Photo by BFAR-5)

He added that the discovery of any person operating a fishing vessel with no license or permit establishes a solid evidence that the person is engaged in unauthorized fishing. More so, if a commercial fishing vessel uses active gear--a destructive fishing method-- within municipal waters.

“Intensifying fisheries protection and law enforcement is necessary to send message that deviating from conduct that promotes social good carries a penalty,” Pioquinto said.

For any fisheries-related incident, Enolva said that the BFAR 5 – Command Action Center can be reached through its hotline number 09194970286. (PIA5/DDC)


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