FREQUENT maritime patrols have stopped poaching in the Batanes islands chain to the relief of fishermen, the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) said on Wednesday.
Batanes Gov. Marilou Cayco recently wrote a letter to Lt. Gen. Romeo Tanalgo, commander of the Northern Luzon Command (Nolcom), extending gratitude of the fisherfolk for the continuous maritime patrols facilitated by the Philippine Air Force, Navy and Marines in the northernmost islands and sea territory of the province.
“The frequent maritime patrols by the AFP in the Batanes islands chain have already reaped success as fishermen recount respite in poaching,” Col. Edgard Arevalo, AFP Public Affairs Office chief, said.
Cayco disclosed that she was being flooded with positive feedbacks especially from the fishermen who are mostly benefiting from the maritime patrols.
“The incessant problem of poaching in our waters [was given]a respite after the patrols and, according to our fisherfolk, they can now fish without being in persistent fear of encountering boats with foreign markings,” the governor said in her letter.
On March 19, the Navy’s BRP Ramon Alcaraz (FF16) sailed to Mavulis Island in Itbayat, Batanes to conduct a site survey and naval cruise patrols i Pasuquin, Ilocos Norte; and Dalupiri, Calayan and Casambalangan in Santa Ana, Cagayan.
Since then, frequent maritime patrols were facilitated by the military, Arevalo said.
The AFP through Nolcom started its maritime awareness activities on Mavulis Island in April 2016 in support of transforming Batanes islets into resting place and shelter area for Filipino fishermen.
AFP Chief of Staff Gen. Eduardo Año noted that the positive developments in the islets of Batanes are borne not only of the military’s frequent maritime patrols in the area but also of the active cooperation and coordination of the people of Batanes and other stakeholders.