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BFAR RO2 bans buli-buli

TUGUEGARAO CITY, CAGAYAN – The fisheries bureau in Region 02 is going all out in its campaign to ban Danish seine / modified Danish seine (locally known as buli-buli), as mandated under Fisheries Administrative Order 246.

The Order issued by Department of Agriculture Sec. Proceso Alcala was issued September last year but provides a 6-month grace period for owners to convert their fishing boat and gears.

Alongside patrol missions to curb operations of buli-buli, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource – 02 Regional Director Dr. Jovita Ayson said that the agency is considering a number of interventions to compensate fisherfolk affected by the ban. Already, Ayson said that 15 units fish cages will be awarded to fisherfolk groups involved in buli-buli operations. The bureau shall also provide additional fishing gears to fishing crews employed by the buli-buli operators.

The boat owners, Ayson said, shall convert their fishing gears and boat to any other type legally allowed by BFAR. “Aside from technical assistance, we can also help them if they wish to embark on an educational tour just to be able to master their new gears,” Ayson added.

The regional director also stated that the government can establish necessary infrastructure and facilities to allow these new boats and gears to ply further from the current fishing grounds.

FAO 246 is based on Section 92 of RA 8550 (Philippine Fisheries Code) which prohibits the use of fishing gears and methods that destroy coral reefs, seagrass beds and other marine life habitat.

Danish seine, locally known as buli-buli, generally use tom weights (made of rectangular concrete block) and heavily weighted nets that contribute to the destruction of marine habitats as well as fishery resources.

Citing the 5 - year National Stock Assessment Program study in Babuyan Channel, BFAR RO2 marine fisheries expert Mr. Venchito Villarao, said that Danish seine is the most efficient fishing gear employed by fisherfolk in Region 02. But this high level of efficiency has its drawbacks as even small and immature fish are caught. This further exacerbate the destruction it cause to the marine environment, Villarao explained.

FAO 246 repeals FAO 222 (allowing the use of Danish seine beyond municipal waters) and carries maximum penalty of 2 to 10 years imprisonment and fine of P 100,000.00 to P 500,000.00. (max prudencio BFAR RO2)

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