Maritime cops score big vs. illegal fishing

By Eugenio Lira, Jr.

Surigao City – After weeks of surveillance operations, alert personnel of PNP Maritime Command Regional Office No. 13 based in this city had arrested on Wednesday sixty one illegal fishermen, impounded eleven motorized fishing boats with a total value of P1.2-million and seized assorted fishing paraphernalia worth P660,000.00.

The fishermen were intercepted while in the act of illegal fishing on seawaters off Basul Island just more than a kilometer from the Surigao City Fish Port.

Sr Supt Edgard Cuanan, PNP Maritime Director for Caraga Region, said this latest apprehension was in support to Governor Sol Matugas’ call to intensify their campaign against illegal fishing within the territorial waters of Surigao del Norte.

“The provincial government is very supportive on our campaign against illegal fishing and has provided us with some logistical support that’s why we’re doubly inspired,” Cuanan stressed.

The apprehended suspects are facing charges for violation of Sections 86, 89 and 93 of Republic Act 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code).

Cuanan has commended P/Insp Angelita Nastor, team leader in the said anti-illegal fishing operations, saying “this is the biggest catch of illegal fishers in the history of Caraga region”.

Earlier, the PNP Maritime Regional Office No. 13 were commended by second district Representative Francisco Matugas for clearing the seawaters of Siargao Island of illegal fishermen using the destructive “Liba-liba method” which paved the way for the successful staging of the “6th Siargao International Game Fishing Tournament” last month.

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