SC upholds ban on hulbot-hulbot

By Czeriza Valencia, The Philippine Star

Posted at Jul 26 2014 10:06 AM | Updated as of Jul 26 2014 07:56 PM

MANILA, Philippines - The Supreme Court (SC) has upheld the ban imposed by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on the use of the fishing device Danish Seine (hulbot-hulbot) and modified Danish Seine (buli-buli) in Philippine waters, the agency announced yesterday.

According to the BFAR, the SC resolution, dated July 7, imposes a temporary restraining order (TRO) against an order issued by Malabon Regional Trial Court (RTC) Branch 170 Judge Zaldy B. Docena on April 14 prohibiting the implementation of Fisheries Order No. 246.

At the time of the order’s implementation early this year, a group of fishing vessel operators petitioned the stoppage of the implementation of the ban.

The Department of Agriculture and the BFAR then appealed for a TRO before the SC.

“We are pleased with the Supreme Court’s order as this upholds the implementation of FAO 246 which is a result of a consensus by multi-sector policy-making body in response to the clamor of a concerned stakeholders who rallied against the destruction hulbot-hulbot is bringing to our marine resources,” said BFAR director Asis Perez.

Danish Seine is a fishing gear which consists of a conical net with two long wings that form a bag where the fish are collected. The ends of the net are connected to a rope embedded with buri, plastic strips or other sinkers that is hauled by a mechanical winch or by manpower.

BFAR said the use of hulbot-hulbot contributes to the destruction of marine habitats and other fishery resources. This is because a Danish seine nets seafloor species, coming into direct contact with fish habitat.

The agency said various fisherfolk groups and associations have expressed support for the SC order.

“Meanwhile, BFAR continues to promote environment-friendly fishing methods and gears such as ringet, bagnet, purse seine, paaling, tuna handline, hook and line, longline and gillnet as they pose no harm to the aquatic environment and thus, sustainable,” said Perez.