LUCENA CITY: Quezon Governor David Suarez urged fisherfolks to intensify their efforts against illegal fishing so as not to scare away whale sharks or butanding, which are being sighted in the province.
He said the habitat of the butanding must be preserved from illegal fishers or they may be driven away.
The governor called the Peace and Order Council last Friday harping on the urgency of intensifying the implementation of laws concerning the municipal waters of the province.
The municipal mayors in areas of Tayabas Bay, Lamon Bay and Ragay Gulf confirmed that numerous illegal fishing practices are still being done by some unscrupulous individuals in clear violation of environmental laws.
Mayor Pepito Reyes of Perez said that sightings of butanding’ or whale shark is increasing in the waters of Lamon Bay. He expressed concern that illegal fishing activities may drive them away.
Gov. Suarez said the fishermen must be vigilant in preserving the butanding in their waters as this could be a tourism attraction where the fisherfolk would benefit from additional income from tourists as tour guides in their towns.
Suarez also instructed the Provincial Government Environment and Natural Resources Office (PGENRO) and the Provincial Tourism Office to check the identification of whale sharks and explore the possibility of making them as tourist attraction in the future.
The police and army officials present vowed to intensify the implementation of environmental laws.