Philippines bans reef-damaging fishing nets

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The Philippines is banning a type of fishing net, called a Danish seine, over concerns that they are having an adverse effect on the marine environment.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) is to impose the ban on Danish seine fishing, locally called hulbot-hulbot, off the Philippines coasts, in an attempt to protect coral reefs and seagrass beds.

The nets have particularly heavy weights attached to them, causing them to sink to the seabed, where they drag along the ocean floor, inflicting damage on corals and other marine animals.

Fishermen and fishing boat operators are being given a grace period of six months to change their equipment, after which anyone found violating the ban will face up to ten years in prison and a fine of up to PHP 500,000/£7250. Their boats and fishing equipment will also be confiscated.

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