Life in law enforcement in the CNMI

My name is Christine A. Pamfilo. I’m a college junior at the Northern Marianas College majoring in Natural Resources Management. Under this program we have a club called Environmental Natural Resources Organization or ENRO; I’m the club secretary. When I became the secretary for the club I decided to add the major and started joining in their activities of cleanups and outreach. I am now a Coral Reef Initiative intern with the Division of Fish and Wildlife and my mentor is Conservation Officer Anthony Mareham. I started the internship on June 11, 2012. I applied for this internship because I knew it would enhance my knowledge in the environmental field as well as assist me in my major of Natural Resources Management. In the future, I want to become a marine biologist and joining the CRI will help me more with that decision. Since I started this internship with DFW I have learned many things, such as the laws and regulations about the sanctuaries in the CNMI, of which I was never aware of. I was able to read through Public Laws 12-12 and 12-46 and the Northern Marianas Islands Administrative Code, Title 85-30-1 Non-commercial Fish and Wildlife Regulations.

Being an intern with DFW is actually fun. I’m enjoying my time working at DFW Enforcement. Duties I have performed so far were to understand the laws and regulations of the islands and participate in near shore patrol and vessel patrol around sanctuaries. During these near shore patrols we went to places such as Wing Beach, Grotto, and Bird Island. For vessel patrol we went out all the way to Managaha. This is not the job for me. For conservation officers it is a daily routine, their job is hard and long, with most having to work at night. The work they go through is one of the hardest things that have to be accomplished.

Although born and raised on Saipan, I was not aware of the laws established for marine and wildlife protection. I never knew that there are only certain areas around the CNMI where you are allowed to hunt or fish and that permits are given out to those who want to go hunting or fishing. I was able to witness the distribution of these permits. These are for fishing, harvesting, and hunting permits. The prices are different depending on what the applicant is applying for. The types of permits issued are for scientific research, cast nets, dead corals or hunting of species. A scientific research or cast net permit cost $10 each. For the dead coral there are two types of permit. One is collection, which is $10 for personal and $30 for commercial. The other permit is for display of corals that cost $30. Hunting of species permits range from $5 to $10 for resident and $25 to $100 for nonresident. These permits are valid until the last day of the year.

My main project right now is to do an Education and Outreach advertisement about the Do’s and Don’ts around our sanctuaries. I will be making a skit and advertising it on the radio, but my main goal is to do an audio and visual advertisement. My work with my mentor is important. We are the ones giving out the information to people about the sanctuaries. Law enforcement officers are the only people who can really educate the public about the laws and regulation of illegal hunting and fishing.

Nowadays life is hard. Cost of living is expensive. Prices go up and hours get cut. Many people try their best to make ends meet. They end up living life naturally by going around hunting and fishing, but many are not aware of what they are not allowed to do. That’s where law enforcement comes in.

I have been an intern with DFW for a month now. I really do like my job here. The staff is very welcoming. I enjoy my time here because I can see that they like me here as well. They are proud of what I have done so far. I love their company and someday I hope to work with them as a DFW Administrator for the Enforcement section.

To find out more about CNMI’s laws, regulations, and permits visit us at our website, http://www.dfw.gov.mp or give us a call at 664-6030.

Jun Dayao Dayao
This post is published under the Contributing Author. He/she does not normally work for Saipan Tribune but contributes for a specific topic or series.

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