Achas backs fishing boat registration program
“Fisherfolks are required to register para (pud) ma-eliminate ang smuggling sa daplin sa baybayon.”
Thus, said Councilor Christian Rustico M. Achas on Monday during the 27th regular session of the City Council presided over by Vice Mayor Jocelyn B. Rodriguez, as he emphasized the importance of registering fisher folks and fishing vessels in coastal areas.
The councilor explained this in reaction to the special report of Councilor James Judith about the annual registration of fisher folks and fishing vessels as well as the daily reporting of their catch, which is inconvenient to fishermen.
In order to determine whether a fishing boat is from outside the city, Councilor Achas said the coast guard is keeping an eye on the illegal entry of items being delivered at Puerto, Bugo and at the international port in Tagoloan.
“Dili purpose nga lisod-lisoron ang kinabuhi sa atong fisherman. Dili sad purpose nga matag tuig hasolon sila kun dili security pud sa atong coastal area,” Achas pointed out.
Based on reports, coastal municipalities are required to set up a registry system to serve as basis in determining priorities in the use of municipal waters, of limiting entry into the municipal waters and monitoring fishing activities, among others.
Councilor Achas recalled that there are instances where unregistered fishing boats are being used to transport drugs. “Diha na pud gipaagi ang drugs sa coastal area,” he said.
“So far wala mi nakita nga dautan, wala sad mi nakita nga ang mga fisherfolks naglisod tungod kay gina-register sila; kun dili obligation sad sa barangay nga tabangan sila”, said Achas.
LOW FISH STOCKS
Councilor Achas also cited the need to register fish catch by fishermen because the city is struggling with low fish stocks. The registration also helps prevent the overfishing of oceans, he said.
With the registry, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the city will know how many fishermen are fishing in specific fishing grounds. This will enable them to monitor fishing activities and prevent overfishing and also for the protection of coastal lines, Achas concluded.