Oceana lauds BFAR on the issuance of manual of procedures on fishery law enforcement



Press Release Date

January 11, 2019

Oceana Philippines welcomes the issuance of Fishery Law Enforcement Manual of Operation (FLEMO) by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). The FLEMO sets the standard operating procedures for the conduct of preventive and corrective fishery enforcement operations.

“The value of the FLEMO is that it addresses the overlapping functions of multiple enforcement agencies at the national scale” said Atty. Gloria Estenzo Ramos, the Vice President of Oceana in the Philippines.

Ramos explained that regions like Central Visayas are impelled to form voluntary alliances such as the Coastal Law Enforcement Alliance in Region 7 (CLEAR7) just to address the issue of overlapping functions through an inter-agency Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) but with the FLEMO other regions are now guided.

Republic Act 10654 or the amended Fisheries Code of the Philippines authorizes the BFAR, the Philippine National Police, the PNP Maritime Group, the Philippine Coast Guard and the Philippine Navy to enforce fishery laws rules and regulations while the municipal and city local government units have been given expressed mandate by Republic Act 7160 or the Local Government Code to enforce fishery laws in their respective municipal waters.

“Apart from setting the standard, the FLEMO provides detailed instructions for enforcers in the conduct of both sea-based and land-based operations,” Ramos said.

“Enforcing fishery laws require technical, tactical and procedural approaches. Unfortunately, not all agencies have these competencies that is why it is imperative that multiple agencies work together. The FLEMO is the document that will bind these agencies under a common framework,” she explained.

“Oceana Philippines congratulates the BFAR for this important milestone and calls on them to disseminate the FLEMO to a wide audience as much as possible and implement fully the amended Fisheries Code of the Philippines. For our part, we will do our share to help government disseminate and explain the FLEMO especially to the field enforcement community, the local government units and the prosecution service,” she said.

Ramos added that this year, Oceana Philippines will commence a nationwide anti-illegal fishing campaign focused on the full implementation of the ban on commercial fishing vessels in municipal waters.

“It will be a robust campaign against the intrusion of commercial fishing vessels in municipal waters,”

The FLEMO was launched by BFAR in December 2018 coinciding with the first command conference of the Philippine Committee on Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing. 

 

Location: Manila, Philippines
Contact: Mar Guidote (mguidote@oceana.org)