Through the consistent and strengthened effort of the Fisheries Resource Protection Group (FRPG) 8 and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) to eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) activities in the region, two medium scale commercial fishing vessels using “hulbot-hulbot” or Modified Danish Seine method of fishing operating within Leyte Gulf were apprehended on July 14, 2020.
A three-hour hot pursuit operation has been conducted by FRPG 8 and PCG MCS 1101 to apprehend the alleged perpetrators who did not heed to their directions despite several instructions using the public address system and warning shots.
The vessels later ran aground in the shoreline of Brgy. Tanghas, Tolosa, Leyte and was immediately abandoned by the crews, leaving the main engines on, and the vessels not properly anchored and moored. FRPG 8 and PNP Tolosa officers then looked for the said crews but were unable to locate and know their whereabouts. Withal, the fishing vessel and other paraphernalia on board are being secured and guarded at Brgy Tanghas Tolosa Leyte. These will be towed to Tacloban City for impoundment. Whereas, the confiscated 56 tubs of fish from the alleged violators were donated to SOS Childrens’ Village in Diit, Tacloban City.
The alleged law offenders have violated several sections of the amended Philippine Fisheries Code. These are: Sec. 86 (Unauthorized Fishing); Sec. 89 (Unreported Fishing); Sec. 93 (Use of Fine Mesh Net); Sec. 95 (se of Active Gear in Municipal Waters, Bays and Other Fishery Management Areas) ; Sec. 97 (Ban on Muro-ami, Other Methods and Gear Destructive to Coral Reefs and Other Marine Habitat); Sec. 113 (Commercial Fishing Vessel Operators Employing Unlicensed Fisherfolk, Fishworker or Crew); Sec. 115 (Obstruction to Fishery Law Enforcement Officer); Sec. 121 (Use of Unlicensed Gear); Sec. 123 (Concealing, Tampering or Disposing of Evidence Relating to an Investigation of a Violation), and; Sec. 128 in relation to FAO 198-1 ( Amended Rules and Regulations on Registration and Licensing of Commercial Fishing Vessels, Fishing Gears and Fishworkers). Additionally, they will be facing the penalties stipulated under FAO 246-1 (Amending FAO No. 246 on the Banning of the Operation of Danish Seine and Modified Dansh Seine in Philippine Waters), if proven guilty.
The apprehending team is currently on the process of preparing the necessary documents for filing of appropriate charges. Withal, BFAR 8 encourages the public to report and provide reliable information of any witnessed Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) Activities within Eastern Visayas to 09564329955 and coordinate with their respective Local Government Units.