Illegal fishing remains a problem in this province, judging from the number of apprehensions made by the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force (IPBDTF) in the first half of this year. From January 1 to July 15, the task force arrested 396 fishermen for poaching in the municipal waters of northern Iloilo.
Off the coasts of Banate, Estancia, Concepcion, Ajuy and Carles, the task force also seized 74 illegal fishing vessels using trawl, hulbot-hulbot (Danish seine) and fine mesh nets.
These fishing methods are prohibited by Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998.
The most recent arrests made by the task force were from July 7 to 11 all off the coast of northern Iloilo.
Eleven fishing boats were grounded and 44 men arrested.
The owners of the fishing vessels were offered a compromise fine ranging from P15,000 to P30,000 each, depending on the gravity of their violations, or risk being detained and charged.
Others were referred to the municipalities concerned for imposition of fines or filing of criminal charges in court, according to IPBDTF operation’s chief, SPO1 Gilbert Piedad.
Unauthorized fishing has a fine of P2,500.
Those operating without licenses and with unregistered crews were slapped with P500 fine each, said Piedad. More....