Illegal fishers ram, sink cops’ boat
Mae Clydyl L. Avila (The Freeman) - April 24, 2017 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines – Illegal fishermen have become so brazen these days.

A small boat with policemen onboard sunk last Saturday after a fishing boat that was dynamite fishing inside a fish sanctuary in Barangay Sulangan, Bantayan town rammed it to avoid capture.

The policemen were safe but the nine unidentified fishermen managed to escape.

Prior to the incident, they received information on men who were dynamite fishing inside the sanctuary so they immediately boarded a small boat to accost the men, who were onboard three small and a large boat.

Upon seeing the policemen, those in one small boat hurriedly started their engine and rammed the boat of the authorities, causing it to sink and giving them the opportunity to escape.

All that the policemen managed to seize were two kilos of unverified fish species believed to have been caught through the use of dynamite

Police Officer 3 Samuel Aguipo Bantayan Police Station said that the responding officers were in plain clothes and rode a small boat for concealment.

“Pagkabantay sa mananagat nga coast guard ang nakasakay, gidasmagan,” he said.

Fish sanctuaries are protected under Republic Act 10654 amending to Republic Act 8550, which "prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing", in which violators will face stiffer fines imposed as administrative or criminal penalty.

Fishing is prohibited in fish sanctuaries and the use of dynamite not only kills small fishes but also damages coral reefs.

Police Officer 3 Joel Baring said most illegal fishers in the area come from Mambacayao, Bantayan but further investigation would be conducted in the light of the sinking of the responding officers' boat.

The recovered fishes were sent to the office of the Bantayan Municipal Agriculturist for examination. —/ RHM (FREEMAN)


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