Joint CLEAR-7 and Seaborne Patrol
The Coastal Law Enforcement Alliance Region 7 (CLEAR-7) chaired by Regional Director Andres M. Bojos of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, Region 7 (BFAR-7) conducted foot and seaborne patrol in the waters of Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, Visayan Sea and its Adjacent waters last May 17-19, 2016.
Present during the patrol were BFAR-7 Regional Director Andres M. Bojos, PCG MCS 3001 Commander Gary Dale Gimotea, PCG BRP San Juan SARV 001 Commander Eduardo P. De Luna Jr., Chief CPAIFTF Col. Lyndon Ruiz, DENR Protected Area Superintendent Am Prospero S. Lendio, PNP Maritime PSupt. Alvin A. Gumacal, Armed Forces of the Philippines 2Lt. Christian Samson, PNP Bogo City PO3 Ramil L. Claro and Media Personalities.
There were 8 Participating Agencies who joined the patrol namely; Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Maritime, Armed Forces of the Philippines, PNP Region 7, Department of Environment and Natural Resources Region 7 (DENR 7), Cebu Province Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, Environmental Legal Assistance Center and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources 7. Six (6) patrol crafts were used during the Joint operation.
The operation started on the early morning of May 17, 2016 from Hagnaya, San Remegio all the way to the south passing in the western coast of Cebu towards Dumaguete for an overnight stay. The following day, May 18, 2016 the operation started early morning towards the Visayan Sea passing through the eastern coast of Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental and reached the Island of Bantayan late afternoon. On day 3, May 19, 2016 the operation was conducted in most parts of the Visayan Sea until BFAR 7 Regional Director terminated the joint operation in the early afternoon as there was no sighting of any fishing violation.
“It is fitting for all of us to help one another in order to carry out the task of protecting our God given marine resources and I’m glad that the Philippine Coast Guard with their very big vessel came with us during the entire duration of the patrol along with the numerous local government units who did their share in protecting the resources within their respective municipal water,” said Director Bojos.
He also added that there are two possible reasons why there was zero apprehension of violators during the seaborne patrol. It’s either there was an information leaked out or it could be that there has been a voluntary compliance on the part of those who have traditionally been violating the law. Voluntary compliance is a good manifestation rather than being apprehended for violating fishery and environmental laws.
Oceana commends the efforts of CLEAR 7 in conducting enforcement patrols in Tañon Strait. This would serve as a key activity in ensuring that the encroachment of commercial fishing vessels and other illegal and destructive fishing practices inside the marine protected area will be stopped. “This is a welcome development in the Month of the Ocean, which we are celebrating this May. Such patrols would certainly benefit the different stakeholders relying on Tañon Strait’s marine resources for food and livelihood.” These were the statements from Danny Ocampo, Campaign Manager of Oceana Philippines, regarding the recent joint CLEAR 7 and media patrol in Tañon Strait.