CEBU CITY -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Central Visayas (BFAR-7), through its Fisheries Management, Regulatory and Enforcement Division (FMRED), has apprehended and penalized two commercial fishers from the towns of Bantayan and Madridejos who were caught using illegal fishing methods destructive to coral reefs and marine life habitat.
BFAR-7 FMRED Chief Josefina Flores said two medium-scale commercial boat operators fishing in the waters off Sante Fe town in Bantayan Islands, Cebu, were arrested on October 10.
Administrative complaints were also filed against them.
They were also fined over P600,000 each, and their fish catch turned over to the Sante Fe Municipal Government.
However, Flores did not name the violators.
“To date, the total collected fines this year summed up to more than P3.3 million with the recent over P1.2 million settlement fines imposed on the two commercial fishing boat operators,” Flores said.
The committee cited violations on certain provisions of Republic Act 10654 or “An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing,” which amended RA 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
Flores also said the two operators also faced administrative liability for violating Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246-1 banning of Danish Seine and modified Danish Seine fishing in Philippine waters.
The erring operators were reportedly utilizing the Danish Seine method of fishing, which is locally known as “hulbot-hulbot” or “liba-liba”.
This method destroys the coral reef systems since the gear could drag the coral reefs that serve as critical habitat to fishes and other species, Flores explained.