TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has significantly improved the monitoring of transport of fish products to and from Leyte following the setting up of the first permanent fisheries checkpoint at the San Juanico Bridge, an official said on Friday(July 21).

BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Hannibal Chavez said that since the checkpoint was put up two months ago, there have been no interceptions of illegally-caught fish products.
BFAR and the Philippine National Police (PNP) personnel have been checking all vehicles carrying fish and fishery products passing the 2.16-kilometer bridge.

The BFAR regional office here has assigned two staff members from the fisheries inspection and quarantine section and the fisheries protection and law enforcement group to man the checkpoint along with the PNP.

“Through the implementation of this measure, the stationed law enforcement team effectively prevents and apprehends illegally caught and transported fishery products, safeguarding the integrity of the checkpoint and ensuring compliance with regulations,” Chavez said.

The permanent checkpoint is stationed at the foot of San Juanico Bridge (Leyte side), being the main gateway for products not only for Samar and Leyte provinces but for all the products transported to and from Luzon, Visayas, and Mindanao.

The law enforcement team checks the auxiliary invoice and the local transport permits of vehicles carrying fishery products to determine the origin of the fishery commodities they carry and conduct other necessary standard procedures on the appropriate transportation of aquatic and marine products.

“With great optimism, we anticipate nothing short of positive outcomes resulting from the implementation of the first joint permanent fisheries checkpoint. Together, let us continue to work hand in hand, progressing towards a prosperous fishing industry, safeguarded marine resources, and a thriving community,” Chavez added.

Setting up the fisheries checkpoint at the San Juanico Bridge is crucial since the infrastructure forms part of the nautical highway that links the islands of Luzon, Samar, Leyte, and Mindanao. (PNA)