Danish Seines continue to encroach in Western Visayas – fisherfolk
Panay, Capiz – The provincial chapter of the fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) in Capiz said that Danish seines fishing are still operational within the municipal waters of Roxas, City despite the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) order to ban the Danish Seine (hulbot-hulbot) and modified Danish Seine (buli-buli) in the Philippine waters.
Danish Seine and its modified form are active fishing gears often used in commercial fishing. It consists of a conical net with a pair of wings, the ends of which are connected to a rope embedded with buri, plastic strips, sinkers or other similar materials to serve as scaring or herding device hauled through a mechanical winch or by manpower.
The Danish Seine has been prohibited since September 2013 through Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246 which seeks the nationwide ban of hulbot-hulbot and buli-buli in the country.
But fisherfolk from Roxas, City said around 20 Danish Seine fishing fleets persistently enter even the 15-kilometer municipal fishing zone that is allotted for the small-scale and subsistence fisherfolk.
“Despite the nation-wide ban on hulbot-hulbot, they are still on their fishing as usual within our municipal fishing waters processing almost 200 tons of fish everyday compared to the 2-5 kilos of fish-catch of small-fishermen on a daily basis. They are one of the threats to our livelihood for they exploit fish and other marine resources found within municipal fishing grounds,” Jessica Emperwa, Secretary General of PAMALAKAYA-Capiz said in a statement.
The fisherfolk group laments the method of fishing of the Danish Seine for it contributes to the destruction of coral reefs and sea-grass beds when it drags through the waters.
“Even with the amended Fisheries Code which restricts illegal and destructive fishing, they can still surpass the law through the commissioned and unscrupulous local government units and BFAR enforcers. It is clear that the fang added to the fisheries code is meant to repress and restrict only the small fisherfolk who may not be able to comply with the absurd fishing standards and rules set by the bureau of fisheries,”
“We urge the BFAR to investigate and do necessary punitive actions on all the destructive fishing encroachment incidents throughout our Philippine waters in order to protect the livelihood of the small and poor fishermen,” Emperwa ended. ###