(File photo)

Members of the Palawan provincial board have expressed concern over the reported increase of illegal fishing activities inside the province’s municipal waters.

Board member Dennis Sabando, in a privilege speech on Tuesday, was reacting to an earlier report presented to them by an NGO group showing Palawan among the top areas where illegal commercial fishing have been occuring inside municipal waters.

“Kung hindi hihinto ay mauubusan tayo ng isda dito. Nakikita natin na ang pangulong ay sobra na,” Sabando said.

Sabando called on concerned local and national government agencies to attend their session next week to help find a solution to the problem.

“Nakaraan lang kasama tayo sa report ng Oceana, hindi pa rin natatapos ang problema na ‘yan. Sana bago matapos ang session natin, last two sessions ay maimbitahan natin sila dito kasama ng mga concern agencies,” Board Member Winston Arzaga said.

Puerto Princesa City and 13 other towns were among the top 50 areas in the Philippines with the most number of illegal fishing activities, based on a study conducted by the group Oceana-Philippines.

Named in the list were Cuyo, Linapacan, Araceli, Magsaysay, Coron, Balabac, Puerto Princesa City, Taytay, Bataraza, Busuanga, Narra, El Nido, and Aborlan.

Four fishing boats and 10 crewmen were arrested on May 28 for alleged illegal use of banned compressors in Agutaya.

There are also reports of an alarming increase in illegal fishing activities in the towns of Aborlan and Narra.