A local group of fisher folks and businessmen accuses their local Chief Executive’s move banning Danish Siene “hulbot-hulbot” as harsh and heartless.
Cawayan, Masbate, [05.06.18] – A group of municipal fisherfolks and businessmen in the municipality of Cawayan, is set to launch a protest condemning their elected Mayor’s planned implementation banning all forms of illegal fishing activities in the territorial waters of Cawayan.
Marcial Artezuela the local leader of fisherfolks and a trader has decried the moved as a hard blow to the local fishermen’s livelihood as it will deprive their source of income, particularly those residents of the fishing villages of Cawayan.
This kind of livelihood has been a way of life of the local residents here for so long a time, even when the first time Mayor Ramon Abinuman entered politics, Atizuela added.
Artezuela told Masbate Today that Abinuman’s decision will bring economic dislocation to the fishing families who are directly dependent on the fishing industry here in Cawayan, as there is no alternative means of livelihood presented to the affected families before its implementation.
“Ngano man kay ang gagmay lang ang ipadakop ug kami na taga-Cawayan pa gyud, naa dha dagko nga panagatan gikan sa laing probinsya wala man ipadakop ni Mayor?” [Why catch only the small and the people of Cawayan while there are in the big operators from other province are not apprehended by Mayor? He lamented.
The order will be implemented after the Municipal Peace and Order Council meeting held last Aril 24, 2018 forewarning violators of a stiffer penalties found violating the Municipal Ordinance and the Fisheries Administrative Order No. 246 to get rid of all illegal fishing activities in the municipal waters of Cawayan.
The territorial waters of Cawayan is located in Asid Gulf and is part of the Visayan Sea where big commercial fishing companies are found operating and are often encroaching the fishing grounds of the marginal fishing communities using illegal fishing gears Danish Seine and its modified forms called “hulbot-hulbot” and “buli-buli”
Danish Seine and its modified form are active fishing gears often used in commercial fishing. It consists of a conical net with a pair of wings, the ends of which are connected to a rope embedded with buri, plastic strips, sinkers or other similar materials to serve as scaring or herding device hauled through a mechanical winch or by manpower.
These methods contributes to the destruction of marine habitats and other fishery resources which violates Section 92 of Republic Act 8550, also known as the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, which reiterates the prohibition of the use of any fishing gears that destroy and damage coral reefs, seagrass beds, and other fishery marine life habitats.
Meanwhile, in a statement issued by Municipal Agriculture Officer and BFAR Representative Chito Mercader he explained the directive is a compliance to the presidential instruction to the Department of Interior and Local Government to catch all all illegal fishing activities all over the country.
Mercader although believes the Mayor’s order will create a great impact on the fishing sector, consumers and to the town’s economy, however, he is bound to obey Mayor Abinuman’s order and the DILG directive, he explained.
He also dismissed the affected fisherfolks accusations about the absence of an alternative livelihood. Mercader pointed out the availability of the Pantawid Pamilyang Pilipino Program, also known as 4P’s under the Department of Social Welfare and Development – all the indigents including the marginal fisherfolks.
On the possible consequence of the supply chain in the local market was not discussed, but on the possible price increase that will be created by the scarcity of supply in the market was already sent to the office of the Department of Trade and Industry, he added.
Mayor Abinuman is yet to issue an statement on this emerging issues and concerns from his constituents as he is not available for comment as of posting time.