ILLEGAL fishing activities in Iloilo province have dwindled as a result of the massive operation of the Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force (PBDTF).
As of yesterday PBDTF operations yielded negative result except for the apprehension of two mini-hulbot on the marine waters of Banate on May 24 and 25.
In previous months, the PBDTF apprehended an average of 10 illegal fishing vessels per week.
Anti-illegal fishing czar Provincial Administrator Raul Banias attributed the reduction of illegal fishing activities to the support shown by the mayors to the provincial government’s anti-illegal fishing drive.
Fisherfolks in all coastal towns of Northern Iloilo have issued separate manifestos declaring that they would no longer engage in“hulbot-hulbot” (Danish Seine) and dynamite fishing, a move which Banias considered as a major breakthrough in their bid to eradicate illegal fishing activities.
Manifestos made by fisherfolks from Concepcion, San Dionisio, Ajuy, Banate, Batad, Estancia and Carles were duly endorsed by their respective mayors.
Banias, however, said that there’s no let up in the campaign against illegal fishing activities despite the positive development.
He said the province’s four Bantay Dagat patrol boats will continue with their seaborne patrol operations to avert unscrupulous fishermen from taking advantage of the situation.
Banias said it’s the small fishermen who would benefit from the eradication of illegal fishing activities in the province.
He said they have received feedbacks coming from small fishermen from the island barangays that their catch has increased since the province started the massive anti-illegal fishing drive.
Meanwhile, Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. acknowledged the support of fisherfolks from Northern Iloilo towns to the campaign against illegal fishing.
He said the support shown by fisherfolks in the provincial government’s campaign against illegal fishing simply show that they have already awakened to the need to save our marine resources. (ECGarcia)