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Pagadian: 3 hulbot-hulbot vessels seized in Sibugay waters, sending a strong warning versus violators

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Region 9 – The DA-BFAR IX Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group (FPLEG) together with the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) Unit of DA-BFAR MCS 3006 Patrol Vessel partnered in a joint seaborne operation under OPERATION SIXTY-SIX that was conducted to apprehend Modified Danish Seiners (Hulbot-Hulbot) and Trawl Fishing activities on March 30-31, 2022.

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Three Hulbot-Hulbot fishing boats were intercepted 1.4 nautical miles southeast off Buluan Island in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay Province or within the vicinity of 07040.166 N and 122034.556 E, with their crew apprehended for violating Fisheries Administrative Order No. 246-1 series of 2018 (Banning of the Operation of Danish Seine and Modified Danish Seine in Philippine Waters) and section 97 of R.A. 10654 (Ban on Muro-Ami, Other Methods and Gear Destructive to Coral Reefs and Other Marine Habitat).

Following the previous arrangement with the Municipal Agriculturist of Ipil, the LGU took custody of the items of evidence which includes banca, fishing net, tom weight, scareline, propeller, and rudder. In the meantime, the FPLEG issued the “Notice of Violation” of the vessel owners and submitted the case to the Hearing Officer of BFAR-IX Regional Office in consideration that the offenders indicated a willingness to “offer to settle.”

This enforcement activity of BFAR-IX is in response to the “request for intervention” by the Municipal Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council of Ipil. The said request is a positive sign that illegal fishing activities in their area are not being tolerated by their constituents. The success of the operation serves as a stern warning to Hulbot-Hulbot owners and operators in Sibuguey Bay, including those public officials and other personalities involved that they have to voluntarily cease supporting such crimes against the environment. The message is clear – to let those in power be a solid example as law-abiding citizens of this country.

Working hand in hand with the government is key to protecting the depleted marine environment and ensuring the sustainability of fishery resources. The government through BFAR-IX and local government units is steadily promoting “voluntary compliance” with our fishery laws, rules, and regulations.

(Source: BFAR-9)

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