The Philippines Appoints a Special Prosecutor to Prosecute Illegal Commercial Fishing in One of the Country’s Largest Marine Protected Areas
The government of the Philippines named a special prosecutor to pursue cases related to illegal fishing in the Tañon Strait, one of the largest MPAs in the Philippines. The Tañon Strait, a 161-kilometer strip dividing the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental, is one of the largest and most productive marine regions of the Philippines. It accounts for 63 percent of the country’s coral species, plus 14 types of whale and dolphin. Despite its nearly two decades as a protected area, the Tañon Strait remained under constant pressure from illegal commercial fishing due to ineffective law enforcement. The appointment of a special prosecutor follows several other new enforcement measures for the Tañon Strait, including the use of vessel monitoring measures. The new special prosecutor has already received her first case. Oceana campaigns for responsible fisheries management throughout the Philippines and is a key force in driving protection and better management for the Tañon Strait plus other municipal waters.