PATROL boats of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR)-Davao were officially deployed on Thursday across the Davao gulf to monitor the area in a bid to fully implement the closed fishing season this year.

For the second year of the Joint Department of Agriculture-Department of Interior and Local Government (DA-DILG) Administrative Order 02 series of 2014 (JAO 02) implementation, the agency will be sending off six patrol boats in the different strategic areas to conduct monitoring.

"Actually, our monitoring started last June 1 but it is more on intelligence monitoring. Now, we will be deploying officially our patrol vessels as well as the oath taking of the seaborne team or the members onboard of the patrol vessels," said Fisheries Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division officer-in-charge Jose Villanueva.

Seaborne team is composed of the members of BFAR Quick Response Team, Philippine National Police Maritime Group, Philippine Coast Guard, Provincial Fisheries Office and the FLEU.

Only two 28-footer patrol vessels were deployed to the gulf on Thursday. The remaining four 30-footers, which are faster, are set to be sent off within the week or the next.

"At present, only two vessels will be deployed but when our backup crew from the central office will be here maybe this week or next week, all patrol vessels will be send off across the gulf," said Fatma Idris, BFAR Davao Region director, said in an interview at the sidelines of the Davao City Fish Port.

BFAR Davao Region allocated P6 million for implementation of all the programs and projects against the Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF).

The director also said that a total of P100,000 has been allocated for the operation of the patrol boats. The monitoring operation runs within a 10-day period.

Villanueva told Sun.Star Davao earlier that an increase of at least 26 percent in the fish catch was noted, following the implementation of closed season and fishing ban last year.

Argie M. Lumibao, chairman City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (CFARMC), said that with the progress made in conserving the aquatic resources in Davao gulf, other municipalities and/or cities in Davao Oriental are planning to adopt the implementation of joint administrative order or closed fishing season.

"We already passed a resolution to DA-BFAR Davao Region and DILG Davao Region requesting to grant the plan of the east coast municipalities to be included in the implementation of JAO No. 02," he said.

The closed season and fishing ban will run from June 1 to August 31 to protect and allow the small pelagic fishes more time to grow during their spawning season.

Those caught fishing within the Davao Gulf area using ring net and bag net regardless of tonnage and/or modified fishing gears with similar fishing operations will be punished with an imprisonment of six months and one day to a maximum of six years. Violators will also be fined an amount of P6,000, forfeiture of catch, and cancellation of their fishing license.