SIX fisherfolk were apprehended for allegedly fishing through the use of poisonous substance along the Ambacuag River in Sablan recently.
According to a report from Sablan Municipal Police Station, these fisherfolk were seen by a resident pouring poisonous substance somewhere in the river in Sitio Ambacuag, Banangan, Sablan on the evening of January 1 of this year and came back the following day to pick the dead fishes. They were arrested immediately upon information to the police by the witness and a barangay kagawad. Caught with the suspects were several species of fish they have picked-up.
Arrested were from Baguio City and Benguet who requested not to be named.
The fishes were turned-over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cordillera Administrative Region (BFAR-CAR) for identification and scientific examination which includes eel, shrimp, and river mullet.
The suspects were charged with violation of section 92 under the Republic Act 8550, otherwise known as the Fisheries Code of the Philippines as amended by Republic Act 10654, or An Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing.
Section 92 of RA 10654 states that Fishing through the use of Explosives, Noxious or Poisonous Substances, or Electricity is strictly prohibited. If convicted, they may face a fine equivalent to five times the value of the caught fishes or P30,000 whichever is higher, imprisonment ranging from five years to 10 years, or both.
Meanwhile, the lawyer of the suspects have signified their intent to settle their administrative liability imposed under RA 10654.
It has been noted BFAR is currently intensifying its campaign to curb all form of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing to protect and conserve the country’s fishery and aquatic resources. (BFAR-CAR)