CEBU CITY— The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Central Visayas issued a stern warning to illegal fishers in the region to stop their illegal activities or face criminal and administrative cases.
BFAR-7 Regional Information Officer Alma Saavedra said local authorities and other local government units (LGUs) in the Visayas have lodged complaints before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against an illegal commercial fishing boat operator from Negros Occidental, and a similar complaint was also filed before the Adjudication Committee of BFAR-7.
The complaint stemmed from the apprehension made on July 10 when the BFAR 7 – Fisheries Resource Protection Group, in a joint patrol operation with the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Group, apprehended a commercial boat operator found fishing in the municipal waters off Santa Fe, Cebu, Saavedra bared.
She added that the operator was also caught fishing using trawl, an active fishing gear that is prohibited in municipal waters and they were also found employing unlicensed crew.
According to Saavedra, the operator will face both criminal and administrative charges for violating Sections 86 and 95 of Republic Act 8550 (Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) as amended by Republic Act 10654, or an act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Moreover, Section 113 of the same law was also included under the administrative sanction.
The enforcers seized from the commercial operator the fishing gear and the latter’s fishing vessel, Saavedra added, and the fishes caught were likewise confiscated and later turned over to the Santa Fe Municipal Environment and Natural Resources Office (MENRO) for proper disposal.