The unabated destructive practice of dynamite fishing and the use of Danish seines or “hulbot-hulbot” is still widely practiced by unscrupulous fishermen in the seas of Bohol.
This was the dire assessment of Provincial Fishery Officer Leo Bongalos of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in an interview with DYRD Balita.
Also, the unregulated entry of commercial fishing boats within the 15 kilometer municipal waters has been tagged as one of the illicit fishing activities in the province.
Bohol has a 682.3 kilometer coastline with 29 coastal municipalities including Tagbilaran City and 365 coastal barangays.
Dynamite fishing or blast fishing, a destructive but effective form of fishing is reportedly on the rise in the several of the 73 islands/islets in scattered mostly in the 2nd district of Bohol.
Hard to patrol coastlines coupled with the apparent apathy of local government units to enforce the dynamite fishing bans has lured fishermen to engage in thie dangerous, illegal but lucrative easy fish catch operation.
Despite the Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) 222 regulating the operation of Danish seine fishery, fishermen still use fine meshed nets and the use of scaring devices to catch juvenile fishes and damage the sea bed in municipal waters.
Bongalos appealed to the local government units to strengthen their Bantay Dagat enforcement units to protect their respective municipal waters and to strictly monitor the reported proliferation of unregistered fishing vessels. (Chito M. Visarra and Rey Tutas)