The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has improved and expanded its surveillance of illegal fishing activities, according to the agency.

In a statement, it could now track and communicate with flagged fishing vessels in real time, while integrating law enforcement.

“Implementing the project gives us the opportunity to benefit from technological innovations for more improved fisheries management practices while empowering our fishers to become responsible resource users,” Agriculture Undersecretary Marie Natidad-Caballero said.

BFAR is setting up six of 15 port and coastal monitoring system towers, while it has already installed 25 of 117 coast stations nationwide.

The equipment will feed real-time data of commercial fishing vessel activities to the agency’s national data center in Navotas City, which will process data including license management, vessel tracking and automated detection of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing.

“The system also collects relevant oceanographic, meteorological, and fish catch data that can be used for quick response, disaster recovery, scientific research and climate change mitigation measures,” BFAR said. — Revin Mikhael D. Ochave