Several fishing vessels caught using destructive fishing gear in PH seas

Published January 10, 2021, 5:00 AM

by Madelaine B. Miraflor

Several commercial fishing vessels have been caught using destructive fishing gear called Danish Seine, locally known as buli-buli or hulbot-bulbot, within Philippine seas despite the ban that was put in place in 2018.

The latest report on such apprehension involves nine commercial fishing vessels caught in the river of Barangay Tapucan in Mauban, Quezon.

According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), it was in the morning of December 31, 2020 when these commercial fishing vessels were spotted docking in the berthing area of the Tupacan River.

Upon investigation, 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 a previous record of apprehension.

“We could not stress enough how proper enforcement of the fisheries laws is beneficial to the overall performance of the Philippine fishery sector,” BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona said.
“Billions are lost to Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing,” he added.

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.

The owners of the commercial fishing vessels were already sent notices of violations 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. 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, BFAR filed a total of 793 IUUF-related cases, of which 684 cases were already resolved.