TUGUEGARAO CITY, March 5 (PIA) -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 2 deputized 48 new fish wardens in Maconacon, Palanan, and Divilacan, in a move to bolster fishery law enforcement in the said coastal towns of Isabela.
According to Arsenio Bañares, Fisheries Regulatory and Quarantine Division chief of BFAR 2, the deputized fish wardens (DFWs) shall complement personnel from law enforcement agencies such as the Philippine National Police in the implementation of fishery laws, rules, and regulations.
“There are still reports on illegal fishing and poaching in said areas. We aim to increase awareness on fishery laws and hopefully, there will be stricter implementation of fishery laws thru the new fish wardens,” Bañares said.
Bañares said that they have also formed Fishery Law Enforcement Teams (FLETs) in said towns as a measure to further strengthen local capability on the implementation of fishery laws. The FLETs, the first ever formed in the region, are composed of local government units and Philippine National Police personnel plus the DFWS.
“The DFWs can either apprehend on their own or join the FLET especially for more complicated operations,” Bañares said.
As provided for under Department of Agriculture Order No. 02 S 1978, DFWs are tasked to enforce all fishery laws, rules and regulations governing the conservation and protection of fishery and aquatic resources including municipal fishery ordinances; to make arrest even without warrant, person or persons who committed or committing in his presences any of the offenses penalized under the provision of existing fishery laws, rules and regulations, confiscate catch and fishing gadgets used in the commission of offense and to file appropriate charge in court; conduct information campaign against all forms of illegal fishing; act as government witness for the speedy prosecution of illegal fishing cases; and to assist in the disposition of confiscated fish.
Bañares said that the term of DFWs is co-terminus with their tenure as barangay officials or the term of the local chief executive. Their jurisdiction is within the municipality where they come from or reside.
Meanwhile, the BFAR 2 also spearheaded mangrove planting and awarded payaos (fish aggregating device) in Maconacon and Divilacan last Feb. 20 to 25.
The Regional Fisheries Training Center, on the other hand, awarded four units (sites) Mudcrab Culture in mangrove areas in Maconacon and Divilican and likewise spearheaded mangrove-planting activity to cover four hectares of mangrove area in same towns. (TCB/MP-PIA 2)