Navy intercepts unlawful fishing activity in Tañon Strait’s seawaters

Photos courtesy of BRP Abraham Campo (PC396)

On the morning of October 15, 2021, while conducting maritime interdiction operations, the navy vessel BRP Abraham Campo (PC396)’s Duty Lookout detected a suspicious fishing vessel surrounded by multiple bancas in the seawaters of Kalaboon, Ronda, Cebu.

PC396 approached, but the fishing vessel accelerated and ran into the seas of Minilos, Dumanhug, and Cebu. The navy vessel attempted to reach the crew of the fishing boat using its siren and public address (PA) system, but received no answer. PC396 intercepted the fishing boat around 7 AM and directed it to come to a halt.

The fishing boat was subjected to a Visit, Board, Search, and Seizure (VBSS) and inspection by the aforementioned navy vessel. The apprehended fishing vessel was identified as fishing boat (F/B) Angel Mary, together with her sixteen (16) crew members, including Alexander Cañete, a native of Japitan, Barili, Cebu, as the Boat Captain.

It was found out that said F/B and crew have the following violations under RA 10654: A. Sec 108 (failure to comply with minimum safety standards) –no fire extinguisher and lacking four (4) lifejackets for the 16 crew on board; B. Sec 113 (commercial fishing vessel operator employing unlicensed fisherfolk) Four out of 16 crew did not possess fisherman’s license; C. Sec 101 (fishing in marine protected area, fishery reserves, refuge and sanctuary) – F/B and crew violated RA 11038 particularly fishing at Tañon Strait Protected Seascape (TSPS) and conduct of commercial fishing within municipal waters without permit from the provincial government.

A boarding certificate was given to F/B Angel Mary, its boat captain, and crew for violating RA 10654. The Navy vessel PC396 will submit all relevant documentation to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 for proper charge filing. Similarly, stated unit instructed the boat captain and crew to make sure they had all of the essential documentation and safety equipment before going fishing.

The NFC, in collaboration with other law enforcement agencies, will continue to protect the Visayas’ maritime environment.

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