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Maritime police commits to protect fish sanctuary

From left: Columnist Dixon Gonzales of LAMPORNAS! Balita, Port Police Chief Insp Eugenio Lira, Jr., P/Inspector Andres Banquel, Jr., commander of Maritime Police Station, and Kagawad Noel “Weweng” Llesis of Brgy. Buenavista, Surigao City.

By Rina “Jiji” Jaylo

SURIGAO CITY— Cognizant of the urgency to protect marine life and giant coral reefs in the city’s biggest fish sanctuary against illegal fishing, the local PNP Maritime station on Thursday, December 19, made a commitment to provide a round-the-clock police protection to Brgy. Buenavista Fish Sanctuary in a joint undertaking with barangay officials.

P/Insp Andres Banquel, Jr., commander of PNP Maritime 1301st station, said he was saddened to know that the fish sanctuary has been constantly raided by illegal fishermen who used noxious substances and tiny nets to catch fishes.

“We learned that this kind of illegal fishing goes unabated and is rampant in Brgy. Buenavista. We’re empathic with the locals’ predicament because they were caught in a situation where barangay authorities were just being ignored by illegal fishers,” told Banquel, saying “henceforth we would be conducting sea patrol together with barangay officials and other volunteers to ensure the protection of these marine resources”.

Kagawad Noel “Weweng” Llesis, number one councilor in the said barangay, disclosed that the previous barangay officials did not take a step forward to protect their fish sanctuary from illegal fishing due to lack of interest and lack of political will.

“As newly-elected officials, I and my colleagues in the barangay council, as well as Punong Barangay Romeo Alcala, are determined to put an end to this rampant ‘rape’ and destruction of our marine resources. Hence, we’re enlisting the help of P/Inspector Andres Banquel, Jr. to ensure maximum protection of our fish sanctuary and the eventual arrest of any malefactors,” Llesis stressed.

He said the barangay council of Buenavista and the PNP Maritime 1301st station will be organizing next week a group of volunteers to be known as Brgy. Buenavista Fish Sanctuary Brigade which will serve as support group of the maritime police in protecting the said marine habitat. (RJaylo/SurigaoToday)


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