By Freddie Lazaro
SAN FERNANDO CITY, La Union – Joint operatives of the Naval Forces Northern Luzon (NFNL) of the Philippine Navy and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) have arrested six fishermen for poaching in the waters off Sta Barbara, Agoo, La Union amid the start of General Community Quarantine (GCQ) in the province.
Lieutenant Geraldson J. Pascual, the public affairs officer of the NFNL of the navy, said that the suspects’ fishing gear have also been confiscated by the operatives.
He said that administrative charges were filed against the six fishermen.
Pascual said that, at around 4 p.m. last May 1, a commercial fishing boat caught the attention of authorities because it was using its fishing trawl about seven miles west of Sta. Barbara, Agoo, La Union.
Commercial fishing within municipal waters is a punishable act under Republic Act No. 8550, otherwise known as “The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998” (RA 8550 as amended). The members of the joint maritime law enforcement team proceeded to intercept the fishing vessel, apprehend the fishermen, and confiscated their gear.
The fishing boat was identified as F/B Trully, which was reported owned by Mr. Trully G. Pasamonte of NHA Project, Buroc, Tarlac.
There were six fishermen operating the fishing boat when it was seized, including its boat captain Philip B Llamado of Barangay Sta Ana, Agoo, La Union.
Later that day, the apprehended fishing boat, illegal trawl, and crew were subsequently turned-over to BFAR official Victor Dayap in Sto Tomas, La Union for case processing.
The crew of the commercial fishing vessel will be facing charges for violation of Section 86 (Unauthorized Fishing) and Section 95 (Use of Active Gears in Municipal Waters) of RA 8550 as amended by Republic Act No. 10654, otherwise known as “An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported And Unregulated Fishing.”