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IFPDS holds lecture-forum on maritime law enforcement

The Institute of Fish Policy and Development Studies (IFPDS) of the College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences (CFOS), UP Visayas held a lecture-forum on “Maritime Law Enforcement” at the Conference Room, Umali Hall, CFOS, UP VIsayas, Miagao campus on March 9, 2016.

CFOS Dean Dr. Crispino A. Saclauso welcomed the speaker and participants to the activity. In his message, he said that the lecture-forum objectives are to increase the awareness of various stakeholders on RA10654 known as An Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing, Amending RA 8550 otherwise known as “The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998;” and to improve existing monitoring, control, and surveillance (MCS) plans and programs of the local government units to effectively manage their fishery resources. According to him, he hopes that the students of fisheries will learn the value of a good MCS program for a successful coastal resource program; and that the faculty and researches of the College will be inspired to conduct studies related to MCS.

SPO1 Benedicto L Lapesora, Jr. of the Regional Maritime Office 6, 603rd Maritime Police Station (MARPSTA), Bacolod City was the resource speaker for the lecture forum. He shared his knowledge and expertise about the topic especially on monitoring, control, and surveillance.

An active sea patroller and two-time awardee as the Champion of Visayan Sea, Lapesora reported about his recent accomplishments in protecting the marine environment especially in patrolling against illegal fishing and providing assistance in rescue operations. He also talked about the pre-boarding and boarding procedures, the type of information,and the recommended uniform requirements and equipment for boarding necessary to inspect or search maritime vessels.

Lapesora underscored the importance of proper planning, monitoring, control, and surveillance in enforcing the maritime law. He said that it is important for the authorities to know every aspect of their job very well. Based on his vast experiences as a maritime law enforcer in the country, he presented the right way in apprehending illegal fishers in. According to him, information and education campaigns on illegal fishing as well as the support of the local government units are important factors for a smooth and effective implementation of the fishery laws without resulting in violence. He also recommended filing of cases against the violators to prevent and put an end to the perennial problem of illegal or unregulated fishing.

The resource speaker has been named as Best Police Non-Commissioned Officer for operational accomplishment. Laperora is a member of Task Force Lawod Negros Occidental that protects the province’s marine resources. In 2015, they had apprehended 40 illegal fishers. He is a licensed seaman officer and joined the PNP in 2013.

The lecture-forum was attended by representatives of the local government units of Miagao, San Joaquin, Guimbal, Tigbauan, and Oton as well as the faculty, researchers, staff, and students who are currently enrolled in Fish 118 (Fisheries Policy and Institutions), MA 210 (Marine Law and Policy), and Ocean 274 (Monitoring, Control, and Surveillance) of the CFOS.

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