Fisherfolk to gov’t: help us against commercial fishers

Councilor Leo Avila III, DGCM chair, said there are still commercial fishers who go within the 15 kilometer municipal waters, triggering complaints from marginalized fisherfolk.

Despite the complaints, however,  apprehending violators remains a challenge as the gulf’s area is so wide.

Avila said the Davao Gulf which encompases an area of around 6,000 kilometers is so wide to cover.

Illegal fishing also happens in the wee hours making perpetrators more difficult to catch, he said.

Avila said he has already discussed the problem with the Philippine National Police (PNP) and the Coast Guard.

He said violators have been apprehended but the problem is prosecuting them.

Avila said gathering evidences against them is difficult.

Regional State Prosecutor Antonio Arellano said from January 2007 to February 2008, there have been two pending cases of illegal fishing, one conviction, and one ase dismissed.

Police Chief Superintendent Lino Calingasan said they arrested 16 persons for illegal fishing last year. (MindaNews)