Strong enforcement operations and vessel monitoring data led to arrest of illegal commercial fishing suspects in Cavite



Press Release Date

May 20, 2019
Contact: Joyce E. Sierra : 09178214430

Strong collaboration among enforcement agencies and stakeholders and transparency in vessel monitoring data are helping fight illegal fishing in municipal waters.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Cunanan Jr., Chief of the PNP Maritime Station in Cavite, which has jurisdiction over the contiguous Cavite municipal waters, disclosed that a two-day seaborne operation conducted in Cavite prompted by vessel monitoring data resulted in the apprehension of three commercial fishing vessels and arrest of 61 illegal fishermen. Two vessels were caught nine kilometers away from the shores of Cavite city and another one was caught four kilometers from Tarnate, violating the 15 kilometer ban on commercial fishing vessels in municipal waters.

“Two day relentless seaborne operations to verify the strong activity of lights in our area of responsibility yielded to the apprehension of three commercial fishing vessels and arrest of 61 illegal fishermen caught actually violating some provisions of RA 10654,” Cunanan said in a Facebook post.

The “strong activity of lights” Cunanan referred to pertains to vessel monitoring data from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) provided to the maritime station by Karagatan Patrol, an online platform for reporting illegal fishing in municipal waters. VIIRS is a satellite sensor that can detect fishing boats that employ lights to attract fish at night. The Karagatan Patrol is a Facebook page was established this year by Oceana Philippines and the League of Municipalities (LMP) to monitor illegal fishing in municipal waters and closed fishing grounds.

“Commercial fishing encroachment in municipal waters has been the bane of artisanal fishers whose right to the preferential use of their fishing grounds is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Fisheries Code,” said lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana vice president.

Oceana processes the (VIIRS) data to create maps showing hotspots of areas where detection of possible and banned fishing happens in municipal waters. 

“We commend the efforts of Col. Cunanan and his team for living up to the mandates of their office and for showing that partnership and transparency yield positive outcomes in effectively monitoring and regulating fishing activities,” said Ramos.

Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation, helps government and stakeholders in implementing the ban on commercial fishing in municipal waters. It likewise works with national agencies, local government units and management bodies to ensure that vessel monitoring mechanism is institutionalized as required by RA 10654 to better monitor the waters and facilitate surveillance and enforcement of fisheries laws.

Strong collaboration among enforcement agencies and stakeholders and transparency in vessel monitoring data are helping fight illegal fishing in municipal waters.

Police Lieutenant Colonel Fernando Cunanan Jr., Chief of the PNP Maritime Station in Cavite, which has jurisdiction over the contiguous Cavite municipal waters, disclosed that a two-day seaborne operation conducted in Cavite prompted by vessel monitoring data resulted in the apprehension of three commercial fishing vessels and arrest of 61 illegal fishermen. Two vessels were caught nine kilometers away from the shores of Cavite city and another one was caught four kilometers from Tarnate, violating the 15 kilometer ban on commercial fishing vessels in municipal waters.

“Two day relentless seaborne operations to verify the strong activity of lights in our area of responsibility yielded to the apprehension of three commercial fishing vessels and arrest of 61 illegal fishermen caught actually violating some provisions of RA 10654,” Cunanan said in a Facebook post.

The “strong activity of lights” Cunanan referred to pertains to vessel monitoring data from Visible Infrared Imaging Radiometer Suite (VIIRS) provided to the maritime station by Karagatan Patrol, an online platform for reporting illegal fishing in municipal waters. VIIRS is a satellite sensor that can detect fishing boats that employ lights to attract fish at night. The Karagatan Patrol is a Facebook page was established this year by Oceana Philippines and the League of Municipalities (LMP) to monitor illegal fishing in municipal waters and closed fishing grounds.

“Commercial fishing encroachment in municipal waters has been the bane of artisanal fishers whose right to the preferential use of their fishing grounds is guaranteed by the Constitution and the Fisheries Code,” said lawyer Gloria Estenzo Ramos, Oceana vice president.

Oceana processes the (VIIRS) data to create maps showing hotspots of areas where detection of possible and banned fishing happens in municipal waters. 

“We commend the efforts of Col. Cunanan and his team for living up to the mandates of their office and for showing that partnership and transparency yield positive outcomes in effectively monitoring and regulating fishing activities,” said Ramos.

Oceana, the largest international advocacy organization focused solely on ocean conservation, helps government and stakeholders in implementing the ban on commercial fishing in municipal waters. It likewise works with national agencies, local government units and management bodies to ensure that vessel monitoring mechanism is institutionalized as required by RA 10654 to better monitor the waters and facilitate surveillance and enforcement of fisheries laws.