FISHERIES law enforcers of the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) recently apprehended nine commercial fishing vessels using Danish Seine, locally known as buli-buli or bulbot-bulbot, in the river of Bgy. Tapucan in Mauban, Quezon.
DA-BFAR national director Eduardo Gongona said the vessels were intercepted while docking in the berthing area of the Tupacan River on the morning of Dec. 31, 2020.
The combined team of BFAR 4A – Fisheries Protection Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG), 1st Quezon Provincial Mobile Force Company (1QPMFC) of the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Naval Intelligence and Security Group (NISU-32) of the Philippine Navy, and Alpha Company of 59TH Infantry Battalion of the Philippine Army made the arrest during illegal fishing operations in the said municipality.
The inter-agency law enforcement operation is part of DA-BFAR’s intensified campaign to eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), including hulbot-hulbot, which has led to heightened and more effective maritime patrol operations even during holidays.
“We could not stress enough how proper enforcement of the fisheries laws is beneficial to the overall performance of the Philippine fishery sector. Billions are lost to Illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and if we truly commit to reduce unsustainable and destructive fishing practices as what the government through the DA-BFAR is doing now, our fisherfolk will truly benefit from this effort,” Gongona said.
The vessels were identified as FBca Ening-1, FBca Vanessa II, FBca Vanessa-I, FBca Leanel-M, FBca Ening, FBca Reana Lieh, FBca Lady Vanessa M. Uno, MBca Audrey-B, and FBca Vanessa-7. Of the nine, two fishing vessels (FBca Vanessa-I and FBCA Vannesa-7) have previous record of apprehension.
In coordination with the local government of Perez and Alabat, the vessels were brought in Alabat, Quezon for impoundment, documentation, and filing of proper charges in court.
Notices for violation of Sections 86 (Unauthorized Fishing), 89 (Unregulated Fishing), 97 (Use of Destructive Fishing Gears), and 108 (Failure to Comply with Minimum Safety Standards) of Republic Act 10654 or the Amended Philippine Fisheries Code have been sent to owners of the commercial fishing vessels.
They may also face charges for violation of FAO 246-1, which penalizes fishing boats by mere possession of hulbot-hulbot including its paraphernalia. Hulbot-hulbot is considered a destructive fishing gear built with nets connected to sinkers or tom weights.
The use and mere possession of hulbot-hulbot including its paraphernalia is prohibited by the government under the amended Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246-1.
In 2020, DA-BFAR filed a total of 793 IUUF-related cases; 684 cases of which were resolved.