New Patrol Boat to Boost Protection, Conservation of DavOr’s Fishing Grounds

Turnover of new patrol boat and ten units payaw held at the PCG Headquarters in the City of Mati

CITY OF MATI, DAVAO ORIENTAL – Aiming to help conserve and protect the province’s fishing grounds from illegal fishing while further enhancing maritime security here, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) formally turned over a brand new patrol boat to the Philippine Coast Guard based in the City of Mati.

“Study shows that our economy loses P40 billion annually due to illegal fishing activities. Considering that we Filipino people generally rely on the fishing industry not only for livelihood but also for our daily sustenance, the protection and conservation of our fisheries and aquatic resources is of paramount importance,” said Undersecretary for Fisheries and concurrent BFAR National Director Commodore Eduardo Gongona in a message read by his representative Alfeo Piloton, the Assistant Bureau Director and Focal Person of Law Enforcement and Regulations Cluster of the BFAR Central Office.

The newly turned over 125 horsepower patrol boat

Piloton noted that while the turnover of this floating asset is in line with the national government’s efforts in combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, local government units are also encouraged to advocate for local measures to protect the ocean, such as the reactivation of the “Bantay Dagat” program to further secure Davao Oriental’s aquatic resources. He assured the Bureau’s support in terms of trainings and capacity-building to ensure development, management, and conservation of the fishery and aquatic resources.

Governor Nelson Dayanghriang, BFAR Regional Director Fatma Idris, Alfeo Piloton of BFAR Central Office, and PAGRI Head Rotchie Ravelo lead the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new patrol boat.

BFAR Regional Director Fatma Idris said during the turnover ceremony on Wednesday, January 31, that the new patrol boat intends “to help secure our fishing grounds from illegal commercial fishing operators and drive away small illegal fishing vessels encroaching on our fishing grounds.” She added that by strengthening information campaign, illegal fishing can be reduced by 70 percent. And with the presence of patrol boats to secure our fishing grounds, illegal fishing will be further reduced by 20 percent.

Governor Nelson L. Dayanghirang thanked the BFAR for the new equipment which he said would help not only in securing the province’s fishing territory but also in guarding the province’s rich aquatic resources for the present and future generations.

“This is truly a welcome development because we really lack patrol boats here in the province. We need to protect our fishing territories and our coast because this is the primary source of our food and livelihood,” he said.

LCDR Garry O. Laynesa of the PCG thanked the Bureau for the additional patrol vessel which he says would not only help in securing the province’s territorial waters but can also be used in responding to maritime accidents and calamities by transporting life-saving aid. “This will enhance our capability in terms of seaborne patrol. I really thank the BFAR and the Provincial Government for entrusting us with this new addition to our floating assets.”

Aside from the new patrol boat, the BFAR also handed over ten units of deep-sea water “payaw” (a fish aggregating device) to the LGUs through their respective Agricultural and Fishery Council in support to the Local Food Security Program.

The Province of Davao Oriental has the region’s longest coastline of 513.2 kilometers with a teeming source of fishery and aquatic resources. Having the advantage of being located along the Tuna Highway, Davao Oriental has great potential for investment on marine and fishery development, thus, prompting the local government to implement measures to boost protection and conservation the province’s rich coastal and marine resources.

One of the beautiful coastlines of Davao Oriental, fringing with coral reefs and teeming with marine life

“We are after the posterity of our natural resources. This is for our fishery law enforcement in order to safeguard our ocean and our future,” said Provincial Agriculture Office Assistant Department Head Rotchie Ravelo. By Karen Lou Deloso/Photo by Eden Jhan Licayan

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