SAN JOSE DE BUENAVISTA, Antique – The provincial government here has urged the Antique Provincial Police Office (APPO) to prioritize the campaign against dynamite fishing, particularly the islands in the northern part of the province.
“Don’t expect the local government unit (LGU) to stop the illegal activities, it should be the police to head the drive,” said Antique Governor Rhodora Cadiao in a press conference at the provincial capitol on Monday.
She said the illegal activity destroys corals and other marine resources in her hometown in the municipality of Culasi.
Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) chief Nicolasito Calawag said in an interview on Tuesday that the rampant dynamite fishing have been observed, especially in the islands of Batbatan and Maningning of Culasi.
The concern was raised by the governor before the newly assumed APPO director Col. Rogelio Abran Jr. on May 22.
“There is a need to put up a police outpost especially in Batbatan Island so that there will be a police presence in the area,” Calawag said.
He added that the rich fishing ground enticed local and nearby residents to engage in illegal fishing even if a Task Force Bantay Dagat is patrolling the coast of Batbatan and Maningning.
They usually operate at night so the Task Force Bantay Dagat has difficulty apprehending them.
“The fish caught is being processed as dried fish and sold in the market by the fishermen,” Calawag said.
Abran said that they have already formed a task group to address the concern.
He assumed as OIC-Director on May 15, succeeding Col. Alexander Mariano who was transferred to the Police Regional Office 6 headquarters in Iloilo City. (PNA)