TACLOBAN CITY – Three small scale commercial fishing vessels were caught poaching on municipal waters during a two-day joint seaborne operation of the Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG) in Eastern Visayas, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources regional office reported on Saturday, January 28. 

BFAR-8 said the three commercial fishing boats were apprehended in Victoria, Northern Samar, Carigara, Leyte, Tacloban City and Guiuan, Eastern Samar on January 25-26, 2023.

The apprehending officers confiscated 40 fish tubs and fishnets approximately 10, 40, and 100 meters long, respectively. These were impounded at the BFAR FPLEG Carigara Substation.

A total of 205 kilos of fish catches were also seized and were donated to the Carigara Municipal Health Center and Carigara Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office.

BFAR-8 said FPLEG 8 is now preparing the documents for the filing of appropriate charges against the said illegal fishers who allegedly violated several sections of the Amended Fisheries Code of the Philippines and the Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 237 s. 2010, which requires the installation of a Juvenile and Trashfish Excluder Device (JTED).  The agency also reminded the public that commercial fishing vessels are not allowed to fish within municipal waters for the conservation and sustainable management of our fishery resources. By Elmer Recuerdo (EV Mail January 23-29, 2023 issue)