BFAR implements newly amended Fishery Code PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 17 December 2015 13:42

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office on Tuesday announced that it has started implementing the newly amended Fishery Code.

During a regional media conference at Ricomar’s Hotel in Ipil, Zamboanga Sibugay, BFAR Regional Director Ahadulla Sajili, Al-Haj said that right after the drafting of the Implementing Rules and Regulations of the Philippine Fishery Code of 1998 amended by Republic Act 10654, it was signed by Agriculture Secretary Proceso Alcala and the national, regional and provincial offices implemented the newly amended law.

The newly amended Fishery Code introduces new concept of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing — Uunreported and unregulated fishing are new offenses.

It also addresses high seas fishing and fishing in other coastal states by Philippine flagged fishing vessels.

The law also emphasizes compliance with conventions to conserve and manage living marine resources such as United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea or UNCLOS (ecosystem based approached; precautionary principle).

It also increased fines and adopts a wide array of accompanying administrative penalties for serious violations to ensure that sanctions are dissuasive and have deterrent effect.

Proposed range of fines for violations/offenses committed by fishing scale: P2million to P9million for small scale commercial fishing; P10million to P15million for medium scale commercial fishing; P16million to P20million for large scale commercial fishing vessel less than 750 gross tons and P25million to P45million for large scale commercial fishing vessel 750 gross tons or more.

Some examples of violations/offenses; unauthorized fishing which is the capture or gathering or causing the capture or gathering of fish fry or fingerlings of any fishery species or fishery products without license of permit. Penalty under old fishery code which was the RA 8550, judicial fine is equivalent to the value of catch or P10,000 whichever is higher while other sanction of imprisonment of six months and confiscation of catch and gear.

However on the amended RA 10650 penalty for the same offense, administrative fine if five times the value of the catch or P50,000 to P100,000 for small scale commercial fishing, P150,000 to P500,000 for medium scale fishing and P1,000,000 to P5,000,000 for large scale fishing.

Judicial fine is twice the amount of the administrative fine, imprisonment is the same as in RA 8550 (six months) and the confiscation of catch and gear.

Sajili along with Isidro Velayo, Jr., assistant regional director and Pedling Munap, MFT, chief FMRED appealed the fishing firms and other small time fishermen to abide the law to avoid inconvenience. – Dan Toribio Jr.