19 illegal fishers pay P50,000 fine

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Wednesday, February 12, 2014


NINETEEN fishermen engaging in Danish seine or “hulbot-hulbot” fishing were made to pay a P50,000 compromise fine following their arrest in Iloilo City recently.

The fishermen were arrested off the coast of Sicogon Island, Carles onboard M/B “Aya 2” while the rest were in “Triple J,” said Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force leader Gilber Piedad.

The two fishing boats were owned and operated by Renita Biñas and Lonie Pabillo, both residents of Banate town.

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Senior Police Officer 2 Piedad said the compromise fine for the fishermen’s temporary liberty was provided under Carles’s Municipal Fishery Ordinance 2004-08.

Prior to the arrest, Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala ordered the nationwide banning of hulbot-hulbot fishing as lobbied by Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Sr.

Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246, series of 2013, banning Danish seine and modified Danish seine, took effect on September 30, 2013.

Section 2 of the FAO 246 declared 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 effectivity of the order to restructure or convert the same to other legitimate fishing gears.

Violation of the order provides a penalty of imprisonment from two to 10 years and a fine not less than P100,000 to P500,000 or both fine and imprisonment at the discretion of the court. The boat and gear will also be confiscated.

Before the issuance of FAO 246, Bureau in Fisheries Administrative Order 222, series of 2003 allowed the operation of modified Danish seine in waters beyond 15 kilometers from the shoreline of any municipality.

This is provided, however, that it shall not use tom weights or any method or accessories that can destroy coral reefs, seagrass beds, and other marine habitats. The minimum mesh size of the net shall not also be less than three centimeters. (PR)

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