Above photo shows one of the apprehended fishing boats in the territorial waters of Catbalogan and Daram seas allegedly conducting illegal fishing last Tuesday. (Contributed photo)

The Philippine police have detained two boat captains and their 14 crew-fishermen for alleged poaching and conducting illegal fishing on Samar territorial waters, police said today.

The Police Regional Office 8 operatives intercepted their boats in the town of Daram and Catbalogan territorial waters.

“The region basically is surrounded by seawaters. It is our mandate to protect the environment, especially our marine resources, from any illegal fishing activity by strictly enforcing the Philippine Fisheries Code or RA 8550 and local ordinances”, Police Regional Director PCSupt. Elmer R. Soria said.

Following the intensified enforcement of Oplan Kalibungan, in the afternoon of August 28, 2012,  a joint team of Regional Special Operations 8 (RSOG8) and Catbalogan City Police Station conducted a seaborne operation within the territorial sea waters of Catbalogan City with grid coordinate N 11 40’ 16.4”, E-124 46’ 50.5” and intercepted one fishing boat marked as F/B Ricky-LP.

Said boat was skippered by a certain Dominador Lazaro Cabalo, the boat captain, with fourteen (13) crew members on board and caught in the act of engaging illegal fishing. The fishing boat was towed and now docked at Pier 1, Catbalogan City while the apprehended persons and the fishing paraphernalia were brought to Catbalogan Police Station for proper disposition.

Investigation conducted disclosed that the owner of said fishing boat was identified as Fidel Papuran of Pier 1, Brgy. 6, Catbalogan City while the crew members are Louie Montano, Richard Barrantes, Randy Danday, Arjake Cabanganan, Joseph Merin, Arnel Lomenoque, Arsenio Ocenar, Rolando Danday, Guillermo Danday, Arturo Barrantes, Jecky Bagunas, Arselino Danday, Egas Ocenar, and Rex Labalo, all residents of Brgy. Bagacay, Daram, Samar.

Boat owner subsequently paid the penalty for the violation at the Catbalogan City Ordinance at City Treasurer’s Office in the amount of Php10,000.000 under OR No. 7683875 dated 29 August 2012.

Relatedly, on the same date, same team intercepted illegal fishers at the seawaters of Barangay Casab-an, Daram, Samar intercepted two (2) fishing boats marked as F/B Ricky 3 and F/B Ricky 5 while engaged in illegal fishing locally known as “trawl fishing” skippered by Noel Jalayahay Magallanes, and Ali Camas, both of Barangay Estaka, Catbalogan City, respectively. Said vessels with its crew and paraphernalia were turned-over to Department of Agriculture of Daram, Samar.

Meanwhile, at the territorial seawaters of Tanauan, Leyte facing Barangay San Roque, elements of Bantay-Dagat operatives led by PO2 Gilbert Lopera and FLET Member Lauro Mendiola, Pelagio Cadion and Jose Allyson Tabuyan conducted a seaborne patrol and were able to apprehend William Asis, Roger Fabu and Randy Ibañez, all of legal age and residents of Barangay 89, San Jose, Tacloban City on board an unmarked gree motor banca in the act of engaging illegal fishing and were brought to Bantay-Dagat headquarters for proper disposition.

PRO 8 is particular in implementing said LOI because illegal fishing destroys the coral reefs and breeding areas of fish and eventually kills small fishes even before they reach maturity, the Regional Director added.

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