illegal-fishing-activityCALBAYOG CITY, Samar, April 27– The city government here has intensified its fight against dynamite fishing amid enforcement of four-month commercial fishing ban on Samar Sea.

Mayor Ronald Aquino said many coral reefs in Calbayog waters have been destroyed due to destructive fishing, affecting income of small fisherman and tourism activities.

“We will not tolerate these illegal fishers who come and steal our resources. Our livelihood, economy, and our food all depend on our seas and we wanted our children and grandchildren to enjoy these resources,” Aquino said on Thursday.

A task force composed of local police, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, and Bantay Dagat team have been working together to end the destructive fishing.

The team has been conducting massive information drive to fisher folks from different island villages regarding fisheries crime and its consequences, according to Aquino.

“Fishermen will be trained on how to detect potential illegal activities to effectively combat destructive fishing,” he added.

The mayor said local fishermen had been sharing information on the identity of commercial fishing ban violators and dynamite fishers. Some lawbreakers have been apprehended and now facing charges.

Dynamite fishing is a highly destructive illegal means of catching fish using explosives to send a shock through the water and kill fishes.

To counter this activity, the local government provided alternative livelihood to fishermen in 10 coastal villages to reduce their dependency on marine resources.

Calbayog waters are part of the Samar Sea, a small sea in the country’s archipelago, situated between the Bicol Region of Luzon and the Eastern Visayas.

The fishing ban on Samar takes effect from April to July 2017. The closure aims to protect the spawning season of small pelagic fishes such as nemipterus, short mackerel, big eye scad, sardines and some demersal fish species. (Jazmin Bonifacio/PNA)