THE Department of Agriculture (DA), through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said all commercial fishing vessels are subject to government tracking and must have vessel monitoring measures (VMM) and electronic reporting systems (ERS).
In Administrative Order 260, series of 2018, the BFAR said all Philippine-flagged vessels allowed to operate in the high seas and those with access rights to fish in other countries’ exclusive economic zones should be VMM and ERS-compliant.
VMM logs the vessel’s position, course, and speed at any given time for the purpose of traceability and management of fisheries resources and fishing effort.
ERS, on the other hand, is a device used to transmit and record catch data to the BFAR near real time or simultaneous to transitions of location data.
The ERS must be able to transmit the following information: species of fish caught, volume caught, position of the vessel where the fish was caught, date and time, vessel activity, and port of origin and arrival.
Vessel operators will have access to the information generated by VMM and each will be issued a unique username and password by the BFAR.
All VMM systems are subject to certification by the BFAR. — Reicelene Joy N. Ignacio