Sulu Governor Abdusakur Tan on Friday said he has banned commercial fishing in the territorial waters of the province within the Sulu Sea to give way to small fishermen.
“Nagko-complain na rin iyong tao namin dito (People here are already complaining),” Tan said in an interview with Dobol B TV.
“Una, hindi sila makalapit diyan sa mga malalaking fishing company vessels at nauubos din iyong isda namin. Hindi nakakakuha iyong maliliit na mangingisda,” he added.
(First, small fishermen cannot get close to big fishing vessels and the supply of fish become scarce. The small fishermen were not able to get any.)
The governor said some big vessels were allegedly shooting small fishermen in the area.
Tan said the Sulu government is not benefiting from the operations of commercial fishing vessels.
He also pointed out that the canning factories of the big fishing vessels are located in Zamboanga areas so they pay their taxes and other fees there.
He added there were around 30 companies with around 100 fishing vessels operating in the Sulu Sea.
The Sulu governor denied the allegations that he banned commercial fishing because some fishing companies stopped buying fuel products from him due to supposed overpricing.
“Matagal na ako sa negosyo ng fuel pero hindi naman iyon…Hindi ko po sila pinipilit. Ngayon ang dami ng may utang, hindi ko nga nasisingil e,” he said.
(I have been in the fuel business for a long time but that was not the reason. I am not forcing them. Now, they have a lot of debt to me, but I am not asking them to pay.)
“Hindi po. In fact, iyong isang kompanya diyan text nang text gustong bumili, hindi ko naman na pinagbibili,” he added.
(That is not true. In fact, one of those companies has been texting me wanting to buy fuel but I refuse to sell it to them.)—Joviland Rita/AOL, GMA Integrated News