FPLEG 8 and the PCG apprehended two small-scale CFV red-handedly using Modified Danish Seine within Samar Sea on January 11, 2024.

#Seaborne ops

With its continuous effort to deter Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated fishing (IUUF) activities in the region, Fishery Protection Law Enforcement Group 8 and the Philippine Coast Guard (DA-BFAR MCS 1101) apprehended two (2) small-scale commercial fishing vessels red-handedly using Modified Danish Seine (hulbot-hulbot) within Samar Sea on January 11, 2024.

Illegal fishing gears were seized from these vessels, and both CFVs are impounded at the FPLEG 8 Carigara Substation for proper disposition and custodial safekeeping. One of the CFVs’ crews operating within Tarangnan was released after the investigation by the apprehending team. However, the other alleged transgressors operating the CFV caught within Daram Island disembarked and abandoned it; hence, no crew were identified. The owner of the said abandoned CFV is asked to surrender to the BFAR 8 FPLEG stations.

If proven guilty, both alleged offenders may face a penalty as high as Php2M for violating FAO 246-1 (Banning of Operation of Danish Seine and Modified Danish Seine in Philippine Waters) and other sections of the amended Fisheries Code of the Philippines. Meanwhile, the owner of the abandoned CFV will be facing an additional administrative fine ranging from Php1M to Php2M for violating Section 115 (Obstruction to Fishery Law Enforcement Officer).

To date, FPLEG 8 is preparing the necessary documents for filing appropriate charges against the alleged transgressors. BFAR 8 will also deploy additional floating assets in Samar Sea to significantly deter IUUF in this hotspot area.

The use of hulbot-hulbot has been banned in the Philippines because of its destructive effect on marine habitats. Its tom weights and heavily weighted scarelines contribute to the destruction of marine habitats as well as fishery resources, destroying coral reefs, seagrass beds, and other fishery marine life habitats, which take many years to recuperate.