LEGAZPI CITY – The intensified seaborn operations by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Bicol had borne fruit with the apprehension of commercial vessels fishing in the municipal waters of two provinces in the region.
In an interview, Nonie Enolva, BFAR-Bicol spokesperson, said the team successfully apprehended a commercial fishing vessel at Burias pass in Masbate province last Wednesday, and another in Balatan town in Camarines Sur province.
"An actual fishing operation in the municipal waters of Claveria, Masbate was apprehended, administrative cases will be filed with the adjudication committee in violation of sections 86 (a) and 113 of RA 8550 as amended by RA 10654. While in Camarines Sur, the team apprehended a medium-scale commercial fishing vessel (131.5GT) operating a purse seine (pangulong) within the municipal waters of Balatan, Camarines Sur for violating RA 10654 Section 86(a) (Unauthorized Fishing) and Section 95 (Use of Active Gear in Municipal Waters, Bays, and Other Fishery Management Areas)," Enolva said.
Enolva said BFAR Bicol continues to intensify fishery law enforcement through convergence with other law enforcement agencies to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing (IUUF) in the Bicol region for sustainable production and management of marine resources.
Meanwhile, BFAR Bicol regional director Ariel Pioquinto emphasized that it is unlawful to fish without a license or permit from the Department or local government units, and for a commercial fishing vessel to fish in municipal waters, as provided under the amended fisheries code.
"The discovery of any person operating a fishing vessel for which he has no license or permit shall constitute prima facie evidence that the person is engaged in unauthorized fishing," he said. (PNA)