Two shark hunters nabbed-A A +A
Wednesday, April 20, 2011
ALAMINOS CITY -- Authorities apprehended two shark hunters recently at the Hundred Islands National Park (HINP) off Alaminos City.
The suspects were identified as Zaldy Bacqaquin, 49; and Pablo Gatan, 29, both residents of Barangay San Vicente, Alaminos. They were nabbed by members of the Public Order and Safety Office (Poso)-Bantay Dagat while conducting seaborne patrol in the HINP.
Poso chief Genaro Bacala said his men spotted the suspects while allegedly hunting reef sharks near the Cathedral Island, within the vicinity of HINP.
Reef sharks were known to be again teeming around the waters of HINP.
Seized from the suspects were eight pieces of baby reef sharks, two kilos of assorted fish, and their fishing gear locally known as "sigay" and "kitang."
Their motorized banca named "Lemuel", which was found out unregistered, was also impounded at the POSO detachment at Lucap Bay.
Charges for violation of Sections 66, 76 and 80 of City Ordinance 2009-05, otherwise known as the Comprehensive Fisheries Code of Alaminos City, will be filed against the suspects.
Although illegal fishing activities continue to decrease year after year as a result of the city's all out war against poaching and the implementation of the comprehensive fishery resources management program, the City Government still continues to keep watch on its territorial waters.
"The recent apprehension is stern warning anew to illegal fishers that we remain committed in protecting our marine resources, specially the Hundred Islands National Park which serves as the prime breeding place of marine animals in the Lingayen Gulf," Mayor Hernani Braganza said.
"If they thought they (illegal fishers) can just get away with their illegal activities, they are committing a huge mistake," he said.
Braganza commended the hard work and dedication of POSO-Bantay Dagat operatives for being on guard 24/7.
According to Milberth Ferrer, city fishery section chief, reef sharks and other marine species are back and continue to thrive at the HINP seven years after the Braganza administration stopped all forms of illegal fishing in the area.
"It goes to show how healthy and ecologically balanced our marine ecosystem is now with the presence of this species, which means more food for our city mates," he added. (Leonardo V. Micua)
Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on April 20, 2011.