Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
Regional Office No. 12
General Santos City
BFAR 12 strengthens MCS system; apprehends 70 vessels in 37 days
GENERAL SANTOS CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Region 12 (BFAR 12) continuously bolsters its’ Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) system to guarantee the uninterrupted checking and supervision of fishing activity in the region.
Glen Padro, Chief of the MCS Section of BFAR 12, said that the regional office is bent on ensuring that fishery resources are not exploited, unlawful fishing practices are controlled and management arrangements are minimized and implemented based on President Benigno ‘Noynoy’ Aquino’s thrusts and programs on preservation and management of fisheries and aquatic resources.
“Our fishery law enforcement officers are directed to enforce all fishery laws, rules and regulations that’s why we can make arrest even without any warrant to any person who has committed or committing any of the offenses penalized under the provisions of fishery laws,” Padro said.
In September, the MCS-BFAR 12 and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) had apprehended 68 fishing vessels which were fishing in Celebes Sea and found 52 have committed various fishery violations. Further, in just a week of this month (October 01 to October 07), 34 fishing vessels were inspected and 18 perpetrated violations.
Operators and fishermen aboard the apprehended fishing vessels committed violations of Republic Act 8550 also known as ‘The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, Fisheries Administrative Order 198 (Rules and Regulations on Commercial Fishing) and Fisheries Administrative Order 236 (Rules and Regulations on the Operations of Purse Seine and Ring Net Vessels) particularly Unauthorized Fishing, Employment of Unlicensed Fishworkers, Expired Commercial Fishing Vessel and Gear License, and No Certificate of Clearance.
The MCS-BFAR 12 noticed that most fishing vessels apprehended were handline and carrier vessels because they regularly return to ports while ring net catcher vessels operate for several months before returning to port and rely on carrier vessels for supplies and other support.
Handline vessel is a fishing vessel where fishermen employ the traditional hook-and-line method in catching large mature tuna. Ringnet catcher vessel is a fishing vessel which carries the fishing net and does the actual fishing while the Carrier vessel carries the catch from the Catcher vessel to the port.
BFAR 12 Regional Director Sani D. Macabalang lauded the apprehending fishery law enforcement officers for the effective and efficient execution of laws and other guidelines which resulted to the successful apprehension of 70 fishing vessels.
“We salute the men and women involved in the fishery law enforcement teams (MCS-BFAR 12, PCG and Philippine National Police-Maritime) of the region in their efforts to correct the practices of the past in abusing our fishery and aquatic resources with sole obsession of profit and selfless desire to have more without limits,” the regional director said.
Macabalang concluded that the BFAR 12 incessantly adheres to its mission and vision of conserving, protecting and sustaining the management of fishery and aquatic resources in the country. (J.Alferez/RPIU-BFAR12)