CATBALOGAN CITY, Samar, Dec. 8 (PNA) –- The provincial government here is eyeing more livelihood activities in coastal communities to curb illegal fishing in Samar province.

Samar Governor Sharee Ann Tan said the local government is pushing for tourism activities and infrastructure development to boost the income of poor fisher folks who are easily swayed to get involved in destructive fishing.

“We have been doing our best that people will do away from being too complacent and shift their attention to more environment-friendly livelihood activities,” Tan said.

The official said that it is high time to convince fishermen to stop illegal activities with various livelihood projects pushed by the local government in the past two years.

“I am on my last term as governor and we have to be serious in pushing for development of the province towards protecting our environment,” she added.

The governor recalled that a group of fishermen visited her office asking for alternative livelihood as they expressed desire to abandon illegal fishing.

On Wednesday, the governor witnessed the replacement of 182 illegal fishing gears with 500-meter gill nets from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Beneficiaries are from this city, Talalora, and Daram towns.

“With the assistance from BFAR, I know that we are in the right direction to eradicate illegal fishing in the whole province of Samar, as well as giving them the alternative livelihood program,” she added.

Initially, the BFAR and local governments in Samar have identified 500 illegal fishers in Samar province. Most of them are from Sto. Niño town, doing fishing activities . (PNA)