31 individuals, corporations own 778 illegal fish cages-A A +A
Friday, October 11, 2013
LINGAYEN, Pangasinan -- Only 31 individuals and corporation own the 778 fish cages that were proliferated near the 1,200-megawatt power plant in Sual, Pangasinan.
This was found out when the Department of Environment and Natural Resources-Environmental Management Bureau (DENR-EMB) issued a cease and desist order (CDO) on all of these fish cages where the operators are raising milkfish in commercial quantity.
The CDOs were issued to 31 fish cage operators whose structures were found outside the allowed 10-hectare mariculture zone without environment compliance certificates (ECC), said DENR-EMB Regional Director Joel Salvador in message faxed to Governor Amado Espoino Jr. on Friday.
“To date, only eight of these operators have received their orders,” Salvador informed the governor.
DENR-EMB lawyer Joseph Estrella was sent by the regional DENR office in San Fernando City, La Union to Sual on Friday to serve the agency’s CDO to the Sual cage operators.
Salvador told the governor that together with the order to stop the illegal fish cages from continuing their business operations, the operators were also slapped with P50,000 in fines for each of their fish cages.
During the meeting with fish cage owners, the DENR lawyer told them that his agency recognized the right of the municipality to pass an ordinance governing fish pen operation in its municipal waters.
A list of the illegal fish cage operators indicated that the biggest among them was identified as Ocean Star Corporation, which built 100 fish cages. The company was represented by a certain James Ty, a resident of Sual.
Two companies, Sahara Corp. and Super Mega Fish Corp., both based in Sual, were tied as second biggest illegal fish cage operators with 50 units each.
The third biggest operator was identified as DCDA Corp. with office address at Binmaley, Pangasinan with 43 units.
Others in the list had fish cages ranging in number from five to 35 units that added up to a total of 778 fish cages in three areas near the shoreline of Sual without environment compliance certificates.
The biggest concentration of fish cages were at the Cabalitian Bay near the Sual power station of Team Energy with a total of 412 units. The rest were found in barangays Pangascasan and Baquien.
The fish cage controversy surfaced the other week when the plant manager, Ruben Licerio, complained to the mayor, the governor, and the regulatory agency that mushrooming fish cages close to the intake facilities of the plant’s cooling system may trigger off a fish kill that can clog the cooling system and disrupt plant operations.
Licerio cited two instances in the past when an army of jelly fish and bangus that escaped from the fish cages clogged its cooling system and resulted in plant shutdown and Luzon-wide power blackouts. (PNA)