BFAR, PCG nab Viet poachers in Cagayan

TUGUEGARAO CITY, Cagayan – Personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) recently intercepted a Vietnamese fishing vessel within Dalupiri Island in the Calayan Group of Islands in Cagayan, belated reports said on Thursday.

The vessel, identified as PY96392TS, was manned by seven Vietnamese and was apprehended 20.5 NM northwest of Dalupiri almost midnight of Friday, Aug. 17.

Lawyer Arsenio Bañares, chief of the Fisheries Management, Regulatory and Enforcement Division of BFAR–Region 2 (Cagayan Valley), said the fishery law enforcers were on routine patrol mission on-board DA-BFAR MMOV 5001 when they chanced upon the Vietnamese vessel.

Chruschev Paul De Peralta, one of the BFAR enforcers, said the vessel was stationary at that time and was conducting fishing operations as evidenced by its light attractants that were turned on.

De Peralta, however, said as they were approaching the vessel, its crew tried to evade them by turning off their light and cutting their fishing lines.

The Vietnamese, with their vessel, were brought to Port Irene in Sta. Ana, Cagayan, the following day for processing.

Found in the vessel were squid bait and 30 pieces blue marlin and yellow fin tuna.

Bañares said they have submitted a complaint against the foreign fishers at the Provincial Prosecutors Office in Aparri for violation of Sec. 91 (poaching) of Republic Act 10654 (An Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing, Amending the RA 8550).

The accused can be meted with a fine of USD 1.2 million and six months to two years and two months jail term if found guilty.