20 LGUs face sanctions over illegal fishing

Romina Cabrera - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines — Twenty local government units (LGUs) may face administrative sanctions over illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing in their jurisdiction.

Interior Secretary Eduardo Año said Tongkil town in Sulu; Zamboanga City; Milagros, Cawayan and San Pascual in Masbate; Languyan, Tawi-Tawi; Calauag, Quezon; Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan; Linapacan in Palawan and Carles in Iloilo are the LGUs with the most number of violations.

Cuyo, Taytay, Coron and Magsaysay in Palawan; Sta. Cruz in Marinduque; Madridejos, Cebu; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Catbalogan, Samar; Cavite City, and Quezon town in Quezon are the other LGUs found to be involved in illegal and unregulated fishing.

Among the violations are the use of artificial light to attract fish at night and encroachment in municipal waters.

Año said the spike in unregulated commercial fishing was detected with the use of visible infrared imaging radiometer suite.

“The use of satellite technology in fisheries law enforcement is another game changer... It is imperative for the DILG to act and issue a warning to these LGUs. Hangad namin na sa pamamagitan nito ay matugunan nila ang mga paglabag sa batas ng pangingisda sa kanilang nasasakupan,” he said.

“We want to remind the LGUs of the protection of our aquatic resources, which unfortunately, is still an issue in the country. Para sa 20 pamahalaang lokal na ito na ating pinadalhan ng warning, mahigpit ang ating paalala na pangalagaan ang ating mga karagatan,” Año said.

He said LGUs should implement Department of the Interior and Local Government Memorandum Circular 2018-59, which sets the policies and guidelines on the regulation and monitoring of fishing activities in municipal waters.

Año said unregulated fishing could result in a serious decline in fishery resources and affect food security and livelihood in coastal communities.

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