The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Cordillera through Regional Director Lilibeth L. Signey, together with the Local Government Unit (LGU) through Municipal Mayor
Edmarc L. Crisologo, and the local Philippine National Police (PNP) representative through Acting COP Jennifer Benabese, led the distribution of 54 units legal and eco-friendly fishing devices to fisherfolk after surrendering their illegal electrofishing devices.

Based on the report of Abra PNP, 53 units of electrofishing gadgets were voluntarily surrendered to the LGU of Lagayan last April 2023 as a result of the intensified campaign on illegal fishing activities as mandated in RA 10654, An act to prevent, deter, and eliminate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing. RA 10654. Section 92 states that the use of fishing explosives, noxious or
poisonous substances, or electricity is punishable by six (6) months of imprisonment and a fine of 5,000 pesos.

During the turnover ceremony, Mayor Crisologo gladly expressed that through the distribution of legal fishing device equipment, the old manner of fishing (agkuryente) will be transformed into a
responsible and eco-friendly manner. He further stated that using these fishing devices, fish and aquatic resources and their environment will be conserved and benefit future generations. Further, RD Signey expressed her gratitude to the LGU-Lagayan and PNP for their actions to reduce illegal fishing activities in the municipality.

Further, she emphasizes the need to encourage other fisherfolk to surrender their illegal fishing devices and that such action does not lead to seizure and custody. Recipients of the said program were able to receive straw, nylon twine, floaters, and gauge wire. Further, beneficiaries who have
surrendered their illegal gadgets signed an oath of surrender pledging that they would never use
other types of illegal fishing gear. The surrendered gadgets were also destroyed and burned during
the program signifying the serious implementation of the law against all forms of illegal fishing.

OPLAN KALIWAAN program on the voluntary turnover of electrofishing devices was conceptualized in 2017 This is an “out of the box” approach employed to convince illegal fishers to
turn back from this destructive and unsustainable fishing method with the end goal of creating a behavioral change among them and making them partners of the BFAR CAR in promoting the
responsible utilization of inland fishery resources of the Cordilleras.

THE USE OF AN ELECTROFISHING DEVICE Illegal electro-fishing devices have been the
customary method of fishing in some areas in Abra. Unlike the use of fishing nets, the use of
electricity in fishing helps fisherfolk catch fish with ease and capture all stunned fish within the area. This includes fingerlings which are to be considered waste as they are not fit for market. This results in exhaustion or a large decrease in fish in the environment. On the other hand, fisherfolks will have an increased number of fish products.

Aurelio Dayawen, a tenyear fisherman and farmer in Pangot, Lagayan, Abra, was one of those who surrendered their illegal electro-fishing devices last April 2023. He explained that this method of
fishing may be illegal, it has been the familiarized manner of fishing in their neighborhood. But with the continuous effort by the government, he chose to surrender their illegal equipment and shift their livelihood to a legal custom. Moreover, he expressed that through this action, the
environment and the aquatic resources will develop and nourish. “Ita ket adan tun iti masakbayan iti sumarsaruno mangruna dagiti uubing para iti baro nga henerasyon”, he added.

BFAR-CAR Press Release

Amianan Balita Ngayon