‘Hulbot’ nationwide ban-A A +A
Thursday, October 3, 2013
DEPARTMENT of Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala issued an order banning “hulbot-hulbot” or Danish seine fishing in the Philippine waters.
Danish seine fishing involves throwing a large rock tied to a net into the sea and dragging it underwater.
On September 12, Alcala signed Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246, series of 2013, banning Danish seine and modified Danish seine.
The law will take effect 15 days from the date of its publication last September 30.
Section 2 of the FAO 246 provides that “it shall be unlawful for any person to operate municipal and commercial fishing boats using Danish seine and Modified Danish seine in catching fish in Philippine waters.”
Persons, associations, cooperatives, partnerships or corporation engaged in Danish seine have six months from the effectively of the order to restructure or convert the same to other legitimate fishing gears.
Violation of the order will face imprisonment from two to ten years and a fine not less than P100,000 to P500,000 or both fine and imprisonment. The boat and gear will also be confiscated.
Earlier, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr. urged Alcala to totally ban hulbot-hulbot to prevent further destructions of marine resources in the country.
Provincial Administrator Raul Banias, officer-in-charge of the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force, also thanked Alcala for heeding Defensor’s appeal. “Now our appeal has been answered. Thanks Secretary Alcala and (BFAR) Director Asis Perez.”
Before the issuance of FAO 246, the Bureau in Fisheries Administrative Order No. 222, series of 2003, allowed the operation of modified Danish seine in waters beyond 15 kilometers from the shoreline of any municipality; however, it shall not use tom weights or any method or accessories that can destroy coral reefs, sea grass beds and other marine habitats. The minimum mesh size of the net shall not also be less than three centimeters. (PR)