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SP summons OCEANA official to clear ‘illegal fishing hotspots’ tags of some Palawan towns

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Officials of OCEANA, a marine advocacy organization, have faced the Palawan Sangguniang Panlalawigan to clear the issue why some towns in the province were supposedly tagged as illegal fishing hotspots.

Board Member David Francis Ponce de Leon earlier delivered a privilege speech regarding the said issue during the council’s 129th regular session.

“Dumalo ang ilang opisyal ng organisasyon na OCEANA sa ika-131 regular na sesyon ng Sangguniang Panlalawigan upang magbigay linaw sa pagkakatukoy sa ilang munisipyo sa Palawan bilang hotspot ng illegal fishing sa bansa,” the province said.

Present during the session were Joyce Sierra, communication manager; Marlito Guidote, external and government relations director; and Jess Floren, GIS specialist.

“Ang OCEANA ay isang marine advocacy organization na kasangga ng League of Municipalities in the Philippines para labanan ang paglaganap ng illegal fishing sa mga karagatan na sakop ng mga munisipyo sa buong bansa upang maprotektahan at mapanatili ang kasaganahan ng yamang dagat na siya ring pangunahing pinagmumulan ng pagkain at pangkabuhayan ng mamamayan,” said the province.

Floren told the council that the the issued list was “Top Ten Hotspots on Frequency of Commercial Boat Detection” and not illegal fishing hotspots.

“Because only the stakeholders can really tell if they are really illegal at itong report namin ay base sa analyzed data galing sa satellite sensor na tinatawag na Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) na kayang detect ang mga super lights na gamit ng mga commercial fishing vessel,” said Floren.

The group also presented how they monitor the number of super lights in the muncipal waters. The report showed that the many commercial fishing boats enter the municipal waters of Araceli, Cuyo, Linapacan and Magsaysay.

“Nandito kami hindi upang husgahan at sisihin ang mga Municipal Mayors at mga lokal na opisyales kundi para tulungan sila at maprotektahan ang mga maliliit na mangingisda,” said Floren.

“Pwede kaming tawagan upang magprovide ng information at ituro kung papaano makakapag-access sa makabagong teknolohiya sa pagmomonitor ng vessel movement,” he added.