ILOILO CITY -- A joint task force has been created to primarily protect the marine resources in Northern Iloilo, particularly in the coastal towns of Carles and Concepcion.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Western Visayas signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on Monday together with the local government units in Northern Iloilo and other enforcement agencies creating the “Task Force IUUF”, that would deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) activities in the coastal towns of the area.

The MOU was signed between BFAR-6 regional director Remia Aparri together with Mayor Siegfredo Betita of Carles; a representative of Mayor Milliard Villanueva of Concepcion, Iloilo; and signatories from other enforcement agencies.

The signing of the MOU was done during the 54th Fish Conservation Week Celebration here.
In her speech, Aparri stressed the importance of preservation, conservation and protection of the coastal and marine resources as the main source of livelihood of the coastal communities.

She said the task force will specifically prohibit the use of destructive gears locally known as “hulbot-hulbot,” and active gears in the operation of commercial fishing vessels.

She said the joint task force in the towns of Carles and Concepcion would convene regularly and conduct regular patrols to increase visibility in the municipal waters. They would also hold information campaign on fishery laws.

As stated in the MOU, the task force would impose “no tolerance” policy to violators of fishery laws.
Aparri said that another MOU would be signed on October 18 together with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. to create another joint task force for the province. (PNA)