Anti-illegal fishing campaign in Benguet intensifies


A number of fisherfolk in the mining town of Itogon (Benguet) voluntarily turned over prohibited fishing gears recently to authorities, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera (BFARCAR) reported.

The voluntary act of local fishermen in the said mining town was an offshoot of the relentless anti-illegal fishing campaign activity of BFARCAR, dubbed “Oplan Kaliwaan” in Spillway, Binga Dam.

“On behalf of the Bureau, I thank the fisherfolk for heeding our call. In fact, Itogon is the first Municipality in the Province of Benguet that has recipients of the “Oplan: Kaliwaan” program and we hope that other municipalities will follow soon,” said Dennis F. De Vera, OIC FMRED Chief, in a press release issued by BFAR-CAR.

“This program is part of the strengthened fishery law enforcement efforts in increasing awareness among resource users on the adverse effects of illegal and unsustainable fishing gears and instill among them of the conservation and responsible management of the Province’s fisheries and aquatic resources,” the press statement further stated.

“This effort has been part of region’s law enforcement initiatives in eliminating the use of illegal fishing gears such as explosives, noxious or poisonous substances, and electricity as prohibited under Section 92 of RA 10654.

“One of the fisherfolk who voluntarily turn-over his electrofishing device stated that:” Mayat daytoy nga programa ti BFAR tah masukatan met lang ti kusto nga fishing gear nga mausar tayo nga agkalap.”

Jerome Dasi of Barangay Tinongdan said that “Ti problema tayo gayam ket aggapo met lang kanya tayo ti solusyon na. Nasayaat ta adda iti kastoy nga programa ti BFAR sa pay la kuma ta dagijay adda pay ti illegal fishing gears da ket iturn over da mettin tapnu ti kasta maprotektahan tayo iti lamlamis nga adda ditoy.

Policemen from Benguet Provincial Mobile Force Company (BPMFC), Barangay Officials of Tinongdan, local fisherfolk participated in the activity. According to BFAR-CAR, to date, a total of 258 have positively responded to the said initiative which was conceptualized in 2017.

Primo Agatep/ABN