Department of Agriculture
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources
DIFFERENT SECTORS LAUD SC’S MOVE TO ENFORCE BAN ON HULBOT-HULBOT FISHING
QUEZON CITY, Philippines – Government sector, environmental groups, and non-governmental organizations (NGOs) join the Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) in lauding the Supreme Court’s (SC) ruling which enforces the ban of Danish Seine (“hulbot-hulbot”) and Modified Danish Seine (“buli-buli”) in the Philippine waters.
“This is a very good development, especially for somebody like me, who has been advocating for the ban of hulbot-hulbot because it really causes serious destruction to our marine life. Now that we can already enforce FAO 246, the BFAR and the local government units, especially those surrounding the Visayan Seas should work collaboratively to enforce this law with strong will,” Negros Occidental Governor Alfredo Marañon, Jr. said in a phone interview.
FAO 246 or Fisheries Administrative Order No. 246 is a regulation that seeks the nationwide ban of hulbot-hulbot and buli-buli fishing in the country. In a court resolution dated July 7, the Highest Court issued a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) against a court order issued by the Malabon Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 170 prohibiting the Department of Agriculture (DA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from implementing FAO 246.
Known environmental lawyer and advocate, Atty. Antonio Oposa, Jr., has likewise expressed satisfaction with the SC’s ruling on hulbot-hulbot and commended the government for banning its use. Oposa also recounted how he and fellow environmentalists in Cebu worked with the government to abolish the practice of hulbot-hulbot fishing method.
Danish Seine and its modified form are active fishing gears often used in commercial fishing. It is consist of a conical net with a pair of wings, the ends of which are connected to a rope embedded with buri, plastic strips, sinkers or other similar materials to serve as scaring or herding device hauled through a mechanical winch or by manpower.
However, it was found out that the use of hulbot-hulbot contributes to the destruction of marine habitats and other fishery resources which violates section 92 of Republic Act 8550, also known as the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, which reiterates the prohibition of the use of any fishing gears that destroy and damage coral reefs, seagrass beds, and other fishery marine life habitats.
Non-government organizations (NGOs) active in fisheries reforms expressed hope that the SC’s Order would finally result in the enforcement of the ban on the use of Danish Seine and Modified Danish Seine.
“Our group is hopeful that the TRO will soon turn into a decision that would curtail the use of hulbot-hulbot in the country by not impeding its full enforcement,” said Dina Umengan, Deputy Director of Tambuyog.
Meanwhile, BFAR national director Asis G. Perez is pleased with the support the agency is getting from all sectors. He said BFAR is putting its best efforts to promote and implement sustainable and environmentally sound fishing practices.
Atty. Asis G. Perez
Information and Public Relations Group