THE National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) has presented to the media nine fishermen caught for illegal fishing in Manila Bay.
NBI’s Environmental Crime Division (NBI-EnCD) led by its chief Czar Nuqui identified the fishermen as Jun Esatan, Ronulfo Perez, Ervin Tremotcha, Floro dela Jente, Rolly Beling, Tirso Beling, Leomar Jugaran, Rolando Rusiana, and Riche Langit.
Nuqui said on Thursday that the operation was conducted last Wednesday. They discovered that the fishermen engaged in illegal fishing by using the prohibited Danish seine or locally known as “hulbot” which uses fine net aided by a large steel that would be dragged to the bottom of the sea which catches all types of marine resources.
Confiscated from them were three commercial fishing boats, two of which were taken weeks ago.
For failure to produce any valid fishing permit, the fishermen were charged for violating Republic Act No. 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 as amended by Republic Act NO. 10654, entitled “An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal or Unauthorized, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing,” such as operating a commercial vessel with no license, and possession of a fishing gear or operating a fishing vessel in a fishing area with no license, among others. They could be meted 10 years in jail aside from fines and seizure of vessels.
Meanwhile, Nuqui said they were now preparing charges against the owners of the seized commercial vessels.
Illegal fishing is widely practiced within the 15-kilometer municipal sea near Corregidor Island, Limay (Bataan), and Hagonoy (Bulacan), aside from Manila Bay. Their hauled fish are usually sold in Navotas and Malabon fish ports. Law prohibits fishing within the 15-kilometer shoreline, which is the exclusive fishing ground of small fishermen.