The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 2 office has filed criminal and adminis-trative complaints against suspected Taiwanese poachers apprehended off Babuyan Claro in Batanes last week.
Atty. Samuel Agaloos, new chief of the law enforcement division of BFAR-R02, said the complaint was filed before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor of Cagayan and at the BFAR Central Office for the administrative case.
According to an incident report by Quick Response Team members of the BFAR R02, they were conducting routine patrol on-board the Philippine Coast Guard-manned BFAR Patrol Vessel MCS 3007 headed by Captain Allen Toribio, when they chanced upon a stationary fishing vessel about 17 nautical miles northeast off Babuyan Claro in the Calayan Group of Islands.
Upon closer inspection, they found out that the subject vessel flew a Philippine flag but was manned by Taiwanese officers. Inspection of papers also revealed that the vessel identified as F/B Der Maan Fure No. 03 with side mark CT3-5399 is registered in Taiwan.
“The vessel was lying-to or steady at the time of apprehension. It was not in distress and its radio buoys (used in long line fishing) were deployed, indicating that it was fishing at the time of apprehension,” Agaloos said.
As of this time, the Taiwanese identified as Lin Dah Gwo and Wu Jenq Shyong are under custody of the PCG in Port Irene, Sta. Ana, Cagayan.
Meanwhile, BFAR Director Atty. Asis Perez revealed that the agency is set to deploy 71 units small patrol boats in the entire country and have proposed the acquisition of 27 units 44-footer patrol boats and two multi-mission sea crafts.
Technology and other interventions are also on hand to capacitate local fishers to benefit more from the marine resources of the country.
“We are a maritime country and we have to act as one,” Perez noted.
Earlier, Perez said that BFAR is now creating points of agreement with other countries on handling incidents at sea, including the peaceful apprehension treatment and repatriation of seized persons.