With the transfer of Bantay Puerto Program management to the City ENRO, the City Government of Puerto Princesa through the Office of the City Environment and Natural Resources Officer has instructed the Bantay Dagat to conduct an inventory of “baklad” within Honda Bay in an effort to reduce its potential adverse impact to the environment and improve the navigational flow within the coastal waters allowing small fishermen to freely catch fish.
Fish traps or a contraption made of bamboo poles and fish nets locally known as “baklad” allow fishermen to catch fish in open waters.
Atty. Carlo B. Gomez, City Environment and Natural Resources Officer, said his instruction to Bantay Dagat is to start the inventory of all “baklad” installed within Honda Bay so that his office can conduct anassessment on its impact to the coastal and marine environment within the area.
“May marching order tayo dun sa Bantay Dagat at nag start na sila ng inventory ng mga baklad. Yung mga walang permit ay ni re-recommend for dismantling. Kung wala sila sa area identified ng City Agriculture ay subject for dismantling sila,” Atty. Gomez said.
During an initial assessment and visit of Bantay Dagat and City ENRO personnel around Honda Bay last month, they have accounted more than 40 “baklad” within the coastal waters of Manalo, Sta. Lourdes, Tagburos and San Jose.
Atty. Gomez explained that the presence of “baklad” pose a navigational hazard to small fishermen, and this also caused the presence of algae that contributed to the algal bloom.
In a Shellfish Bulletin No. 12 issued by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on June 22, 2020, Honda Bay has been identified as positive of red tide toxins and warned the public not to consume shellfish. The warning has been lifted only this end of July 2020.
Atty. Gomez emphasized the importance of conducting waste analysis and characterization in our coastal areas. He observed that another problem posed by “baklad” outside the designated mariculture zones are solid wastes, mostly plastic, ropes, and fish nets. Some abandoned fish pens and fish corrals also contribute pressures to our marine ecosystem.
The move to remove “baklad” that are installed outside the designated area intends to improve the navigation within Honda Bay and at the same time address and minimize pressures to marine environment caused by solid wastes, abandoned fishpens and “baklad”.