MANILA, Philippines — Nine fishermen were caught by the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) illegally fishing in the waters off Navotas City on Wednesday.
They were onboard three commercial fishing vessels led by boat captains Jun Esatan, Tirso Beling and Leomar Jugaran.
They were arrested after failing to show valid fishing permit and for using prohibited Danish seine, locally known as “hulbot”.
The registrations of the vessels were already expired.
“Our command received information about unhampered illegal fishing operation in Manila Bay area. By engaging in this type of activity, it destroys ocean bed including corals,” NBI – Environmental Crimes Division head, Atty. Czar Nuqui said.
Also, the commercial fishing vessels were caught in the waters which are supposedly exclusive for small fishermen.
“Subsistence fishermen should be fishing there not the commercial vessels. And yet these commercial vessels are exploiting these resources to the detriment of subsistence fishermen,” Atty. Nuqui said.
They fishermen said they didn’t know that what they were doing was illegal.
“We have nowhere else to go. If we don’t do it, our families will suffer,” boat captain Jun Esatan said.
They are facing several charges for violations of the Fisheries Code punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of Php500,000. – Roderic Mendoza | UNTV News and Rescue
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