The Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) office has conducted several successful denial operations in the areas where illegal fishing and transporting of marine species are rampant.
The task force identified northern Cebu as a crucial area for illegal fishing operations and transportation.
Since the reorganization of CPAIFTF through an executive order issued by Governor Hilario Davide III last year, their market denials, wet market inspection, and seaborne patrol were expanded.
From its re-organization, the task force recorded 86 market denial operations to date. From those operations, 10 apprehensions were recorded, reflecting CPAIFTF’s desire to eradicate illegal fishing
At present, the fight against illegal activities to preserve the marine richness of the seas in the province of Cebu is strengthened through the task force’s programs and partnerships with private organizations.
According to CPAIFTF assistant head for operation Maximiano Hontanosas, they are also urging the communities, especially the fisherfolk organizations from the different barangays, to be involved in discussions with the government’s undertakings.
Hontanosas said that the cooperation of the fisherfolk is an additional force multiplier in eliminating illegal activities, “tungod kay sila man ang naa sa maong lugar, kung adunay presensya sa illegal nga buhat sa ilang kadagatan, ila gyud na i-report (because they are from the area so when there is presence of illegal fishing, they should report it).”
He added that the partnership between the small scale fishing sector and the government is surely fruitful.
The anti-illegal fishing task group is actively linking with the locals to strengthen the coordination and enforcement of policies through their information, education and ccommunication campaign.
Hontonosas shared that they regularly meet with the locals as the meetings can become an avenue to take up suggestions and issues.
“As much as possible we’re building a strong relationship with them because it is our duty to help and empower them,” he added.
Meanwhile, the campaign started in January in 27 municipalities, including Asturias, Daanbantayan, Cordova, Pinamungajan, Aloguinsan, Barili, San Remigio, Medellin, Bogo, Tabuelan, Tabogon, Alcoy, Argao, Dalaguete, Boljoon, Borbon, Sogod, Oslob, Samboan, Santander, Minglanilla, Tuburan, Consolacion, Liloan, Compostela, Carmen and Catmen.
There were also four cities included in the campaign: Naga, Talisay, Mandaue, and Danao.