BFAR beefs up campaign against illegal, unregulated fishing

BFAR beefs up campaign against illegal, unregulated fishing
Contributed Photo/File Photo

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is intensifying a campaign against illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF) in Davao Region.

The move came after the apprehension of several illegal fishing activities in the region’s coastal waters since early this year.

BFAR regional officer-in-charge Relly B. Garcia said they will strengthen the conduct of seaborne and land-based patrols and regular inspections of fishing vessels and cold-storage facilities to advance efforts to combat IUUF.

“We will enforce strict regulations to protect and uphold the integrity of our fisheries resources, and the violators will face the full force of the law,” Garcia said in a press release.

Earlier this month, BFAR intercepted three fishing vessels in separate operations conducted in Sta. Maria, Davao Occidental for violating some provisions in Republic Act (RA) 8550, as amended by RA 10654, or the Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing.

Among the specific violations are operating without a license, employing unlicensed crewmembers, using unlicensed gear, and operating active gear in municipal waters.

The vessels were apprehended along the coastal waters of Barangays Baciawan and San Agustin in Sta. Maria town.

BFAR Fisheries Inspection and Quarantine Unit (FIQU) and Enforcement Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Operations Center (ERMCSOC) also recently seized a total of 3,950 kilograms of assorted frozen tuna cuts for violating some guidelines in safety and quality standards for fishery products and some provisions in RA 8550, as amended by RA No. 10654.

The seized fishery products were immediately destroyed after being tested to be unsafe for consumption.

Also, in a separate operation, the agency confiscated a total of 27 boxes of frozen Xiphias gladius, commonly known as Dugho, for misdeclaration of products. After being tested safe and fit for human consumption by the Regional Fisheries Integrated Laboratory, the confiscated products were donated to various charitable institutions in the region.

Meanwhile, BFAR, in coordination with local government units and other enforcement agencies, assured the public that it would continue and strengthen enforcing maritime laws and regulations to safeguard marine resources and protect the fishing industry. PIA DAVAO


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