By Perla G. Lena
TACLOBAN CITY, (PNA) — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will put the full force of the law against any commercial fishing company operating without proper documentation starting next year.
BFAR 8 regional director Juan Albaldejo said that all efforts will be put together to ensure that commercial fishing boats in the region are registered.
“After a year of not being registered we will impose fines. Law enforcement will be done strictly; we will stick with the law,” he said.
He underscored that the country will be reporting to the European Union (EU) on the illegal, undocumented, unreported commercial fishing in July next year.
If the country is not compliant, there is a possibility that the country will be banned by the European Union (EU).
Albaladejo added that the Philippines stands to loose some P10 billion should it be banned because of the illegal, undocumented, and unreported commercial fishing.
To facilitate their registration, BFAR along with the Maritime Industry Authority (MARINA), Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the National Telecommunications Commission (NTC) launched its mobile registration last month.
Also in attendance was the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) that takes care of the seminar on safety procedure at sea along with PCG.
A permit has to be secured from MARINA for sea worthiness of their vessels and NTC for handheld radios.
Last month some 35 commercial boats in Southern Leyte were registered.
The agency hopes to reach out to some 330 operators in Samar this month, although Albaladejo said that they don’t have problems with commercial fishers in the province because they are compliant.
However, they posted a zero registration in Northern Samar because most of their gears are illegal.
During the mobile registration, they only had to pay P750- dubbed as a pro-poor rate. The payment can go as high as P20,000 to P50,000 during regular registration.
Mobile registration is being held monthly during full moon, he added.
The registration will end in July next year.