To protect the municipal waters of Cebu province against illegal fishers, the Cebu Provincial Government through the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) launched ‘Kalambuan sa Dagat’ campaign on Wednesday (February 8) in Medellin town.
The crusade, one of Governor Hilario P. Davide III’s key development agenda to protect and conserve all marine life, aims to enforce strict measures against illegal fishers.
CPAIFTF Chief Lyndon Ruiz said the battle also looks forward to have Cebu as an illegal fishing-free province in the next four years.
“Dapat atong buhatan ang probinsya ug depensa nga mag-train ug mga competent, organized and equipped personnel para maka-enforce ug mga fishery laws,” said Ruiz.
Ruiz, a retired military colonel, revealed that at the time he was designated as head of CPAIFTF, he was already tasked by Davide to plan out strategies that would intensify the province’s anti-illegal fishing campaign.
“It’s about time to develop, conserve and even give time to restore the beauty of our sea. This is the reason why we have initiatives to seize culprits guilty of illegal fishing,” he said in Cebuano.
Medellin’s Bantay Dagat head D’ Romero Desabelle expressed his appreciation and support to the campaign.
“Nagpasalamat kami sa Gobernador nga aduna gyuy programa ang Kapitolyo nga nahitungud sa pagpanalipud sa kadagatan ug sa pagpalambo niini,” he said.
Medellin town mayor Benjun Mondigo said he is thankful that the campaign kicked off in his town where Bantay Dagat trainings have been held.
“Nagpasalamat kami sa programa mahitungod sa pagpanalipud sa kalikupan labi na sa pagpanagat ug diri gayud nila maoy napili na ipahigayon ang pagseminar sa mga bantay dagat diin ang uban nato nga mga kasilingang lungsod magpadala pud sa ilang mga bantay dagat sa amoang lungsod,” said Mondigo.
A fluvial parade of fishing operators opened the ceremony where local fishermen and Medellin town officials patrolled from the Mahawak wharf to the sea near baranggay Kawit and Gibitngil Island.
Mondigo said he supports the Capitol’s aim to protect the environment as this could bring a sustainable fishing industry.
Evelyn Cuyos, president of Gibitngil Farmers and Fisherfolks Association, said she hopes that both commercial and small fishermen in Medellin will understand each other and share the bounty of the sea.
Cuyos also said that she is optimistic that the hopes of protection and voice of small fishermen will be realized through this campaign.
Ruiz said that after Medellin, CPAIFTF will be going to other towns and barangays of the 4th district to reach out to others in the fishing industry by giving them trainings that would raise their consciousness about fishery laws. (Francis Nacua)