AT LEAST 12 commercial fishermen were apprehended and charged by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 for illegally fishing in Tañon Strait last year.
Am Prospero Lendio, protected areas superintendent of the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, told reporters that of the 12 commercial fishermen, three have been been convicted by the court, six remain on trial while the cases of the three others are pending resolution.
Lendio made the announcement during the 20th anniversary of the creation of the TSPS in Cebu City last week.
The 12 commercial fishermen were arrested in a joint operation conducted by DENR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and other agencies tasked in protecting Tañon Strait.
Lendio said their operations continue as Tañon Strait remains vulnerable to commercial fishing.
He said that aside from the efforts of national agencies like DENR, the TSPS will create “Task Force Tañon” that will conduct intensive anti-illegal fishing operations against commercial fishermen who are after Tañon Strait’s rich resources.
Aside from DENR and BFAR, Task Force Tañon will also be composed of other agencies like the Philippine Navy, Philippine Coast Guard, PNP Maritime Group, PNP units in the provinces of Cebu, Negros Oriental and Negros Occidental and environmental conservation groups.
Task Force Tañon was created through the Coastal Law Enforcement Alliance in Region 7 (Clear) 7. (JKV)