Fishing vessel banned from municipal waters

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THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has permanently revoked the license of a fishing vessel identified as FV Raizza “for repeatedly violating” the Fisheries Code that bans commercial fishing in municipal waters, Oceana said.

Oceana, a nonprofit ocean conservation organization, said in a statement on Wednesday that it was the first time for the BFAR to permanently revoke a fishing vessel’s license due to repeated violations.

The decision, according to Oceana, will serve as a “strong deterrence” on illegal fishing activities in the country’s municipal waters.

The organization said it formally requested on Dec. 9 last year the adjudication committee of BFAR for the list and status of commercial fishing vessels and their owners or operators with repeated violations of the country’s Fisheries Code.

On Jan. 7 this year, the committee responded to the organization’s request. It cited the administrative sanction imposed by the committee in one case in Region VI where it decided to permanently revoke the commercial vessel license of FV Raizza, Oceana said.

Oceana Vice-President Gloria Estenzo-Ramos said: “We welcome this breakthrough in the implementation of the law. The permanent revocation serves as an effective deterrence on illegal commercial fishing happening in municipal waters. Strong measures in transparency and enforcement are needed if we are to return the abundance of our waters.”

She added: “We urge the BFAR to hasten the implementation of the vessel monitoring measures to deter the intrusion of commercial fishing vessel operators into the municipal waters. We have to stop illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing to restore the deteriorating fisheries and marine resources, especially in the municipal waters.” — Arjay L. Balinbin