July 14, 2020: THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Central Visayas throws out a clear message to illegal fishers that keep operating despite the ongoing pandemic.
Stop the illegal operations or face criminal or administrative sanctions. Local authorities have recently lodged a complaint before the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor’s Office against an illegal commercial fishing boat operator from Negros Occidental.
A similar complaint was also filed before the Adjudication Committee of BFAR Region 7. The complaint stemmed from the apprehension that transpired on July 10, Friday afternoon.
The BFAR 7 – Fisheries Resource Protection Group, in a joint patrol operation with the Philippine National Police – Maritime Group, apprehended a commercial boat operator found fishing in the municipal waters off Santa Fe, Cebu.The operator was also caught fishing using trawl, an active fishing gear that is prohibited in municipal waters. Moreover, they were also found employing unlicensed crew. Based on the complaint, the operator will face both criminal and administrative charges for violating Sections 86 and 95 of Republic Act 8550 (Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998) as amended by Republic Act 10654, or an act to prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing. Moreover, Section 113 of the same law was also included under the administrative sanction. The enforcers seized from the commercial operator the fishing gear and the latter’s fishing vessel.(PR)