BFAR-Davao warns vs fishing using chemicals

BFAR-Davao warns vs fishing using chemicals
Mati CIO, BFAR-Davao

THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Davao Region (BFAR-Davao) warned the public against using noxious substances in catching fish, as this violates Republic Act Number 10654, otherwise known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

In a statement released on April 30, 2024, BFAR-Davao reminded the public that catching fish by using harmful chemicals violates section 92 of the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, which states that “It shall be unlawful for any person to catch, take or gather or cause to be caught, taken or gathered fish or any fisheries species in the Philippine waters with the use of explosives, noxious or poisonous substances such as sodium cyanide, which will kill, stupefy, disable or render unconscious fish or fishery species.” 

This comes after the agency received reports on April 29 about two individuals who were allegedly using harmful substances along the shoreline of Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental last April 27.

The legislation also forbids any fisherman, operator, fishing boat authority, or fisherworker from using explosives and noxious or dangerous chemicals for unlawful fishing. Violations of these prohibited activities will result in penalties and imprisonment. The law reinforces the gravity of these offenses to safeguard marine life and guarantee sustainable fishing operations.

“Any fish caught using harmful practices and substances can pose significant risks to the environment and human health. As the investigation into this incident continues, BFAR-Davao urges the public to remain vigilant and report any suspicious fishing activities to local government units,” Regional Director Relly B. Garcia said in the press release.

BFAR-Davao then commended the concerned citizens for informing authorities of the suspicious act of the two individuals. They also praised the swift action of the Philippine National Police (PNP)-Maritime Police and the City Government of Mati, Davao Oriental, to protect the welfare of the marine resources as well as the source of livelihood of the Dabawenyos that rely on the sea.

“Protecting the marine environment is a collective responsibility, and BFAR-Davao appreciates everyone’s cooperation in maintaining the health and sustainability of our fisheries,” Garcia said.

To recall, the Mati City Information Office (Mati-CIO) reported that about two individuals were arrested for suspected cyanide fishing in Dahican shoreline on April 27. The suspects were 38-year-old Roberto Matuman and 26-year-old Daril Mangaliwan. Both are residents of Purok Makugihon, Barangay Dahican, Mati City, Davao Oriental. 

Upon responding, the Maritime Police of Mati witnessed the two suspects pouring a chemical substance into a small tidal pool on the shoreline. Confiscated from the two were one bottle of chlorine-like substance and some assorted fish. Based on the video that the police showed, Matuman and Mangaliwan hid in a container with the chemicals when police authorities approached them. 

The two individuals were then brought to the PNP Maritime station for further investigation, documentation, and filing of the appropriate complaint. Both suspects will face charges for violating Section 67 of Fishing through Explosives, Noxious or Poisonous Substance and Electricity of the Mati City Ordinance No. 406 series of 2020. RGP


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