BFAR 2 files another case vs cyanide fishers from Sta. Ana, Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 02 has filed another criminal complaint against cyanide fishers from Sta. Ana town, this province.

Charged for violation of Sec. 92 of RA 10654 were alleged cyanide fishers named Roy Delegencia and Efren Abogati. The complaint was filed before the Office of the Provincial Prosecutor in Aparri, Cagayan.

The present case follows a similar complaint filed by the Bureau last Sept. 20, 2016.

According to Raul Cajucom, Fishery Law Enforcer of BFAR RO2, they were en route to Sta. Ana from their official station in Maconacon, Isabela last Sept. 20, when they chanced upon the alleged violators.

Cajucom said upon approaching the area along the shoreline of Sitio Pozzorobo, Brgy. Rapuli in said town, they observed presence of hose or pipes which point to the use of compressor in fishing.

Upon inspection, the Fishery Law Enforcer said that the fishermen failed to present any fishing permit or other pertinent papers.

Even if the fishermen claimed that they were employing legitimate methods in gathering aquarium fish, Cajucom said that they still took samples for analysis, as standard procedure.

Analysis made by the BFAR RO2 Cyanide Detection Test Laboratory here, confirmed that the fish samples, mainly Clown Triggerfish, were collected using cyanide.

If found guilty, the fishermen can face a fine of PHP30,000.00 and 5 to 10 years imprisonment.

The use of cyanide in fishing has been the subject of fishery law enforcement operations in recent months. On June 2, 2016, the Bureau has released back into the wild an entire shipment of aquarium fish, samples of which tested positive for cyanide.

BFAR RO2 regional director Dr. Milagros Morales said that the Bureau will further intensify its efforts in order to curb, if not put a halt to the practice.

Sodium cyanide, when used in fishing, is known to damage corals and the marine environment in general. When used to catch food fishes, the chemical can cause health damage.