THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said it seized nine commercial fishing vessels in Mauban, Quezon for using illegal fishing methods.

In a virtual briefing Thursday, BFAR National Director Eduardo B. Gongona said the nine fishing vessels were using Danish Seines, known as buli-buli or hulbot-hulbot, an were apprehended along a river in Barangay Tapucan on Dec. 31.

The enforcement action was carried out by an inter-agency task force involving the BFAR, the Philippine National Police Maritime Group, the Philippine Navy, and the Philippine Army.

“The use and mere possession of buli-buli or hulbot-hulbot including its paraphernalia is prohibited by the government under the amended Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 246-1,” BFAR said.

The fishing vessels were brought to Alabat, Quezon for impoundment, documentation, and filing of charges.

BFAR said the owners of the nine fishing vessels were sent notices of violation of Republic Act No. 10654 or the Amended Philippine Fisheries Code.

Mr. Gongona said the BFAR hopes to eradicate illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing (IUUF), which will eventually boost the performance of the fisheries sector.

“Billions are lost to IUUF, and if we truly commit to reduce unsustainable and destructive fishing practices, our fisherfolk will truly benefit from this effort,” Mr. Gongona said.

BFAR said that a total of 793 IUUF-related cases were filed in 2020. Of these, some 684 cases have been resolved. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave