Police bust 10 for ‘zipper’

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Saturday, July 12, 2014


TEN fishermen were arrested by local authorities for illegally fishing off the coast of Bantayan Island early Thursday morning.

Senior Insp. Jaime Santillan, the town police chief, said the fishermen were found using the “zipper” method in catching fish.

It is an illegal method because the boats will scrape the sea bottom, destroying the coral reefs.

The fishermen, all from Sagay City, Negros Occidental, were charged by the Cebu Provincial Prosecutor's Office for violating Republic Act (RA) 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998 last Friday.

They also used fine mesh nets, which is a violation under Section 89 of RA 8550.

Police identified them as Nelson Bawasanta, 36, who was the boat captain; Ricky Forrosuelo, 40; Rodulfo Pacilan, 35; Arnel Abiner, 22; Joven Aguisanda, 31; Ariel Tiguelo, 19; Rolando Deliosa, 22; Julian Etan, 23; Danilo Andic, 19; and Ramel Tiquelo, 20.

Merly Awit, owner of the fishing vessel F/B Tristian Mar, was also charged by police.

Patrol

A team from Bantay Dagat, together with police, were patrolling the seawaters when they sighted a fishing vessel past 4 a.m.

They approached F/B Tristian Mar and took the fishermen in custody.

Recovered from the vessel were assorted fish worth P30,000.

Santillan, when interviewed by Sun.Star Cebu, said the fishermen also violated a municipal ordinance for fishing within the 15-kilometer radius.

"Daghan gyud kuno nag isda dihang dapita (They said there are a lot of fish in that area)," he said.

Santillan said Bantay Dagat has intensified its patrol operations after illegal fishing in the area has become a common practice.

"Fishermen also frequent the area because they cannot be easily spotted. And because Bantay Dagat's boats are smaller, it has difficulty reaching the area especially when the weather is not particularly good,” Santillan also said.

Police are now waiting for the commitment order before the fishermen will be turned over to the Bureau of Jail Management and Penology from the Municipality of Bantayan. (DSM)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on July 13, 2014.

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