Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor Jr. has issued an executive order authorizing Provincial Administrator Raul Banias to supervise the province’s Bantay Dagat Task Force.
Illegal fishing continues to be a problem in Iloilo.
Defensor expressed hope that Banias’ appointment will help address this never-ending issue. (https://tinyurl.com/8juckf5m)
In an interview, Banias affirmed that illegal fishing, particularly dynamite use, persists in certain areas of the Visayan Sea.
The closure of the Visayan Sea for three months is expected to reveal more instances of illegal fishing, according to him.
“I already had a meeting with the Bantay Dagat Task Force and we will be responding to that. This is not new to us. Way back, We have already apprehended several illegal fishers engaged in dynamite fishing. We assure our marginalized fisherfolk that we will strictly monitor it,” he added.
Banias said they will strictly monitor the area, noting that dynamite fishing activities are mostly coming from other provinces and other illegal fishing activities are carried out by fishers in the coastal areas of the province.
“I am constantly communicating with Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) chief Dr. Ildefonso Toledo for the smooth, effective transition of the operation and management of the Bantay Dagat Task Force,” the provincial administrator said.
The transition period, he added, is “a very complex administrative function” because they must organize the operation and maintenance aspects, as well as address staffing requirements.
“With the two additional floating assets of the province, we will step up our campaign against illegal fishing,” said Banias.
“Our campaign in the integrated fishery management approach is not only a campaign against illegal fishing but also conservation, restoration, and education,” he added.