A group of tuna fishermen in General Santos City has decried the local government’s alleged failure to step up efforts to curb illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing that threaten the local tuna-fishing industry.
Jake Fajurano, owner of the Melvi Fishing Industry and an officer of the Alliance of Tuna Handliners, said here that the local government of General Santos City had allegedly failed to implement the fishing regulation policy.
According to Fajurano, the local government failed to implement Executive Order 154 signed by former President Benigno S. Aquino III in December 2013 that calls for the implementation of a national plan of action to prevent, deter and eliminate IUU, fishing in the country.
General Santos City Mayor Ronnel C. Rivera was criticized by the group of handline tuna fishers for ignoring the EO, which, they said embolden tuna industry players not to declare the exact number of tonnage of fish catch.
“The Maritime Industry Authority and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources [BFAR] are [also] not doing their job because they cannot even regulate the tuna fishing owners to report and scale their tuna fish catch at the GenSan Fishing Port Development Authority for recording and that is why both government offices have no idea of how much fish catch of these handline tuna fishing owners they have,”Fajurano said.