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Dynamite fishing in Cebu decreases

As a result of the intensive enforcement operations launched by the legal strike force of the Integrated Bar of the Philippines-National Environmental Action Team and the Visayan Sea Squadron, incidence of dynamite fishing in Cebu has reduced by 90 percent.

IBP-NEAT chairman Antonio Oposa said that there has been a significant decrease of dynamite fishing in the province as well as a reduction in the supply of blasting powder and blasting caps because of the intensive campaign and series of operations conducted by the squadron and environmental groups.

Oposa said use of blasting powder and detonating fuses have substantially dwindled especially in the southwestern part of Bantayan Island, a notorious hotspot area for dynamite fishing. Aside from that, incidence of commercial fishing boat intrusions in the Visayan seas has also reduced.

Last May 16, The Visayan Sea Squadron has arrested nine blast fishers in northern Cebu leading to their immediate imprisonment.

In the launch of the Visayan Sea Squadron in March 2005 in Bantayan Island, Cebu Governor Gwendolyn Garcia of Cebu, Joseph Maranon of Negros Occidental, and Neil Tupas of IloIlo have agreed the move to declare the Visayan Sea closed to commercial fishing.
It was recalled that the Visayan Sea is one of the richest marine waters in the world but as a result of four decades of rampant destructive fishing methods and over fishing, its marine waters are now degraded.- Jasmin R. Uy

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