Alarmed by the unabated illegal fishing activities of unscrupulous fishermen along Cagayan´s coastal areas, the sangguniang panlalawigan said it will rally all residents from Sta. Praxedes to Sta. Ana towns including those along the Cagayan River for the preservation and conservation of the fishing industry.
Vice Governor Oscar T. Pagulayan who also chairs the Sangguniang Panlalawigan said the enactment of ordinances against all forms of illegal fishing including the use of "buli-buli" or the finemeshed net is not enough.
"We all have to see to the enforcement of these laws and make the people vigilant that the present generation and those to come will still enjoy the abundance of fish and other marine resources," Pagulayan said.
The use of "buli-buli," electrofishing gadgets including dynamite fishing not only destroy the chance of small fishes to survive and grow into marketable sizes but also destroy the fishes´ habitat, he said.
The vice governor added that, such illegal practices only ensure the continued state of destitution of the people especially those dependent on the fishing industry if nothing is instituted to stop the same.
Meanwhile, close to 300 marginal fisherman including private individuals from the different coastal towns strongly opposed the use of "buli-buli," a destructive fishing gear applied within the territorial waters of the province and endorsed its total ban.
In a recent public hearing conducted by the committee on agriculture in the coastal town of Aparri, the marginal fishermen claimed that their means of livelihood were adversely affected because of the tolerated use of "buli-buli."
The fishermen informed the committee that the continuing use of the "buli-buli" have destroyed and are tending to totally destroy the corrals and other fish habitat along the province´s territorial waters and would eventually extinguish the various fish species which were then abound.
While the use of "buli-buli" was loudly protested, the same fishermen suggested that the ban of another fishing gear known as "banuar" must be lifted as this is the only method being availed of, by the said fishermen who have no other means of livelihood and further requested for the modification of Provincial Ordinance No. 05-92 to suit their general welfare.
Provincial board member Baylon A. Calagui, committee vice-chairman on agriculture, however said that while the issue is under thorough study by the Sangguniang Panlalawigan, Provincial Ordinance No. 05-92, an ordinance penalizing illegal methods of fishing in the province, meantime remain in force and in effect.
He then requested the PNP and other law enforcement agencies to implement and monitor the existing ordinance.
Cagayan News and Information Bulletin, Volume 1, No. 3