2 dwarf sperm whales, 21 dolphins killed by dynamite fishing off Siargao – LorenMarch 26, 2014
MANILA, Philippines — Dynamite fishing has killed two dwarf sperm whales and 21 dolphins have been killed in the waters of Mindanao’s surfing haven, Siargao Island, despite a ban on the practice under the Fisheries Code of the Philippines, Senator Loren Legarda said Wednesday.
“This is another unfortunate case of marine resource abuse. Dynamite fishing has long been banned and is punishable under the Fisheries Code along with (other) illegal fishing methods,” Legarda said.
“Authorities must strictly enforce the law because this is not only about a fisher’s catch or a community’s livelihood, but also about the state of marine biodiversity, which affects the nation as a whole,” she added.
Citing reports, Legarda said the marine mammals had been badly injured by blast fishing and were later stabbed by local fishermen.
“Our law enforcement agencies should go after the perpetrators of this crime against nature and ensure that our seas and marine species are safe from such cruelty. We should be more vigilant because this could be happening in other parts of the country as well,” she said.
At the same time, Legarda made a pitch for the fishing communities of Siargao to further capitalize on the Surigao del Norte island’s reputation as a surfing haven by becoming “a model for marine conservation through sustainable fishing methods and other marine protection practices.”
“Fishing is not only a form of livelihood but also a way by which a fisherman can carry out his responsibility as a steward of our marine resources,” she stressed.