MANILA (PNA) – Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel “Manny” Piñol has ordered the immediate creation of the West Philippine Sea Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, in a bid to protect the country’s marine environment.
The order came after Piñol received information from a group of fisherfolk in Zambales about illegal fishing activities in the area, including blast fishing and the entry of suspected foreign poachers.
The fisherfolk asked the agriculture chief “to apply the full force of law” to those who will be apprehended. They also requested that radio communication equipment be set up on their boats so they would be able to report violations to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG).
Piñol instructed Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) national director Eduardo Gongona to lead the task force.
“The bureau will utilize its resources to ensure we carry out his directive and enforce Philippine fishing laws,” Gongona said.