ILOILO – The Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force led by SPO1 Gilbert Piedad has begun patrolling 24/7 to protect the marine reserve of this province from poachers and illegal fishers.
The task force has to sustain its aggressiveness and vigilance in order for the province to win the “war” against illegal fishing, he added. Just this April, the task force seized six motorboats owned by local fishermen from Concepcion.
The captain and crew of these motorboats were caught engaging in trawl fishing off Baliguian, Malangabang, Bagongon and Anhawan Islands in Concepcion. The erring fishermen were slapped with charges for violating Sec. 90 of Republic Act. 8550 (Use of Active Gears in Municipal Waters) and Municipal Ordinance No. 1, Series of 2008 (Fishing within the Declared Marine Protected Areas and Unregistered Fishing Boat).
Last March, the task force also apprehended a group of local dynamite fishermen onboard motorboat “Mary Joy” near Brgy. Balabagon in Carles. These fishermen were Angie Verano (owner), Jomarie Amentin, Jay0R Velasco, Wilmer Cabrera, Demetrio Cabrera and John Velasco of Brgy. Brgy. Buenavista, Carles. Seized from their possession were 30 kilos of confirmed dynamited fishes, their boat and its accessories, air compressor and fish finders.
A criminal complaint for violation of Sec. 88 Par. 3 of RA 8550 (Fishing with the Use of Explosives) has been filed against them in the Iloilo Provincial Prosecutors Office. Eight fishermen from Manapla, Negros Occidental who were using Danish Seine were also arrested in Nasidman Island, Ajuy, Iloilo.