The DA-BFAR-9 Enforcement and Regional Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Operations Center (ERMCSOC) Team 3 of Zamboanga del Norte Station recently conducted a seaborne patrol operation where an unauthorized fishing vessel was apprehended for violating the Amended Philippine Fisheries Code. The said operation took place on board BFAR Multi Mission Patrol Boat No. 3023 in the municipal and city waters of Dipolog Bay on July 17, 2023.

During the patrol, at around 1:30 AM on July 18, 2023, the team spotted a 39 GT fishing boat utilizing Ringnet gear actively engaged in fishing operations. The vessel was located 5.2 nautical miles southeast off Sicayab Point, Dipolog City, Zamboanga del Norte, with GPS Coordinates 08º39.102 N 123º15.819 E.

Further investigations revealed that the fishing vessel was owned by a proprietor with a business address in Canubay, Oroquieta, Misamis Occidental. The vessel was skippered by a resident of Dapitan City.

The BFAR-9 ERMCSOC Team immediately acted as the vessel was found to be in direct violation of Section 86 (a) of the Philippine Fisheries Code, which pertains to Unauthorized Fishing, and Section 95, which deals with the Use of Active Gear in the Municipal Waters, Bays, and other Fishery Management Areas. These violations are governed by Republic Act No. 10654, an amendment to the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.

Following the apprehension, the fishing vessel was escorted to Pulauan Port, Dapitan City for proper inventory of its catch and issuance of a notice of violation to both the boat captain and the owner.

The apprehending team is now preparing the necessary supporting papers and documentations for filing of the complaint against the offenders. With the issuance of the Notice of Violation, the boat captain and owner are expected to visit the DA-BFAR Regional Office 9 for a pre-conference before the Regional Adjudication Committee, to address the violations and determine appropriate penalties.

The DA-BFAR 9’s staunch commitment to enforcing the Philippine Fisheries Code plays a vital role in preserving marine resources and protecting the livelihoods of local fisherfolk. The agency remains vigilant in safeguarding the nation’s waters against illegal, unauthorized and unreported fishing activities, ensuring sustainable and responsible practices in the fishing industry.

For any violations of fishery laws, concerned citizens may reach the BFAR ERMCSOC Hotline at CP No. 0939-936-6832.