The provincial Anti-illegal Fishing Task Force impounded three boats, one of which is owned by the mother of a former town mayor.
The task force said the boats were used for illegal fishing and were carrying endangered marine species.
The boats were seized in the waters off Sta. Fe in Bantayan Island yesterday dawn.
Task force chief Loy Madrigal said that first to be seized was f/b Rosalinda, which is owned by the mother of a former town mayor. The former mayor’s name is withheld pending his side of the story.
The second boat is named RAV 1 and is owned by a Capitol contractor. The third is cargo boat MT/Lourvie.
Madrigal said they confiscated corals, giant clams and smooth top shells, which are considered endangered. They also confiscated the fish since these were caught illegally.
The 64 boat crews were turned over to Sta. Fe police station for inquest proceedings tomorrow, said Madrigal.
Republic Act 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, prohibits the use of active gear in municipal waters and bays.
The law also protects marine resources considered endangered by the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species.
Madrigal said the joint Daanbantayan Bantay Dagat and Naval Forces Central (Navforcen) team was doing a seaborne patrol from Barangay Maya, Daanbantayan, when they sighted f/b Rosalinda at 3 a.m. in the act of using active fishing gear near Kinatarcan Island.
The team found out that the boat was also carrying corals. The boat’s 26 crew members were held for questioning.
At 4 a.m., the team caught RAV 1 using active fishing gear in the waters off Sta. Fe. The task force rounded up the crew and confiscated their catch.
At 5:15 a.m., the task force caught cargo boat Lourvie in possession of giant clams and smooth top shells.
The shells were confiscated and the boat’s 12 crew members were held for questioning.
Capitol contactor Romeo Villaceran, owner of the RAV 1 fishing boat, said his boat’s global positioning system was not functioning.
He assured that all his crew members have licenses and his purse seine fishing gear has a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource license.
Villaceran owns Rovilla Construction, which is collecting P8.858 million from the Province for the projects it implemented during former Gov. Gwen Garcia’s time.