ORMOC CITY – The fish brokers in this city were strictly reminded not to accept fish or any commercial marine products without an auxiliary permit and a Local Transportation Permit (LTP) from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) after Irish Belmonte of the City Fisheries Office on May 29, 2023 seized talakitok fish inside two foam boxes that were said to have been captured using explosives or dynamite.

The said contraband was confiscated by the personnel of the Fishery Coastal and Aquatic Resources Management Division (FCARMD), Bantay Dagat, and City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council (CFARMC).

Accordingly, reliable information was received by the City Fisheries Office that someone smuggled a “binadilan” talakitok fish from Guiuan, Eastern Samar and that BFAR-FPLEG is certain that Ormoc City is the intended market.

The BFAR-FPLEG failed to catch the suspects because they went through the barangay roads instead of the highway or national roads going to Ormoc City.

Belmonte added that the suspects just took down the two foams of fish when they arrived in Ormoc and quickly traveled to Bato, Leyte.

Upon the examination performed by Ariel Calamaya, BFAR Region 8 fish examiner, it was confirmed that the confiscated fish were positively caught with the use of explosives or through dynamite fishing due to their internal manifestations, such as that the air bladder is ruptured and stained with blood, and internal organs are crushed and mixed with blood.

Belmonte advised the fish brokers and the public that apart from the auxiliary permit and LTP from BFAR, the fish they accept should also consider the environment’s welfare.

“Dapat magpakabana sa kinaiyahan,” she said.

Accordingly, LGU-Ormoc, led by Mayor Lucy Torres-Gomez, together with the City Agriculture Department’s FCARMD and Public Market Office (PMO), and BFAR strictly prohibit illegal fishing, such as dynamite fishing.

Dynamite fishing, or fish bombing, is one of the most destructive forms of fishing because it indiscriminately kills any animal in the blast area, from fish eggs and plankton to whales and dolphins, and devastates corals. Moreover, it not only threatens coral reefs but also leads to a decline in fish population, affects coastal communities and small fisheries trying to compete with industrial trawlers, and has a negative impact on the tourism industry. By Gwen Maurillo (EV Mail May 29-June 4, 2023 issue)