POLICE arrested seven persons in separate operations against illegal fishing and illegal hauling of sand in northern Cebu over the last two days.

Last Thursday afternoon, Landy Ardaya Cabellon, 38, and Tony Doncillo Jabadan, 38, were arrested for allegedly digging sand and gravel in Bawo River in Sogod town.

A team led by Sogod Police Station Chief Rico Baricar Emperwa allegedy caught the suspects red-handed.

Emperwa said that a resident reported seeing Cabellon and Jabadan in the river.

When approached by the police, the two failed to produce a permit to quarry.

Police confiscated from the suspects 14 sacks of sand and gravel, two shovels, an improvised filter mesh net, and the suspects' multicab (YEG-960).

Illegal fishing

About four towns away, Bantay Dagat and police arrested five men in the restricted municipal waters of San Remigio for allegedly illegal fishing last Wednesday night.

The suspects were identified as Ricky Pisano Algarme, 41; Rolando Bermeo, 33; Rolando Clojas Canello, 43; Rolly Villanueva, 33; and Gaspar Gemenez Villaflor, 21.

They were from Victorias City, Negros Oriental.

The Bantay Dagat team led by PO1s Jade Carabuena and Johnnel Dadula spotted the fishing vessel of the suspects.

They approached the vessel and asked for a permit, but the fishermen failed to produce one.

The fishermen also used a fine mesh net, a violation of Republic Act (RA) 8550, or the 1998 Fisheries Code of the Philippines.

Police seized fishing boat Karlyn 2, the fine mesh net, five boxes of fish, and 43 empty boxes.

RA 8550 prohibits "fishing in municipal waters and in all bays, as well as other fishery management areas, using active fishing gear."

The law's Section 89 states "fine-mesh users are subject to fines of P2,000 to P20,000 or imprisonment of from six months to two years."