DILG warns 20 LGUs over illegal fishing

The Department of the Interior and Local Government issued stern warnings to 20 local government units for Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing (IUUF) and reminded them to strengthen the enforcement of the Philippine Fisheries Code and other existing policies for the protection of coastal communities and fishing folks within their jurisdiction or face administrative sanctions.

Interior Sec. Eduardo Año said the LGUs were reminded “to exercise their mandate and responsibilities under the Philippine Fisheries Code” and informed them of the total number of the IUUF committed in their areas using satellite technology.

“Despite the pandemic, we want to remind LGUs of the protection of our aquatic resources which, unfortunately, is still an issue in the country. We issued a stern warning with the reminder that we should take care of our waters,” he said.

“IUUF can cause a serious decline in fisheries resources, and can negatively impact food security and livelihoods for coastal communities and fisherfolk,” he added.

According to Año, the LGUs who received warnings are the top 20 with the highest number of encroachment or violation in the use of superlight and other artificial light sources to attract fishes during nighttime, the use of which is prohibited under Section 98 of the Philippines Fisheries Code.

The DILG was able to get the information through the Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) technology, a satellite that can detect artificial light sources or superlight.

Registering the most IUUF violation is Tongkil, Sulu with 2,549 instances, followed by Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur with 2,446; Milagros, Masbate with 1,595; Cawayan, Masbate with 1,350; San Pascual, Masbate with 1,193; Languyan, Tawi-tawi with 1,057; Calauag, Quezon with 1,009; Hadji Mohammad Ajul, Basilan with 973; Linapacan, Palawan with 959; and, Carles, Iloilo with 762.

Also included in the top 20 LGUs are Cuyo, Palawan; Santa Cruz, Marinduque; Madridejos, Cebu; Coron, Palawan; San Jose, Occidental Mindoro; Taytay, Palawan; Magsaysay, Palawan; Catbalogan City, Samar; Cavite City, Cavite; and, Quezon, Quezon.

“The use of satellite technology in fisheries law enforcement is another game-changer hence it imperative for the DILG to act and issue a warning to these LGUs,” the Interior chief said.

The DILG has partnered with Oceana Philippines in monitoring, detecting, and preventing IUUF in municipal waters.

Topics: Department of the Interior and Local Government , Philippine Fisheries Code , Eduardo Año
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