By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
A total of 15 fishermen from Negros Occidental were caught by the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force for illegally fishing off the coast of Baliguian Island, a part of Barangay Malangabang, Concepcion, Iloilo.
Boat captain Jill Rinquijo of Barangay Tortosa, Manapla faces charges in relation to unauthorized fishing and using a Danish seine, a type of fishing net used for commercial fishing. His crew of 14 were initially arrested, but were later released.
However, boat owner Noel Quimar of Sagay City will face similar charges.
Among the items seized by the task force include a fishing boat wooden hull with outrigger equipped with a 6D14 engine, shafting, propeller, and rudder; a mechanical winch with a 6D14 engine; two pairs of tom weights; two rolls of scaring lines; a set of Danish Seine fishing nets; 100 tubs of assorted fish; seven containers of diesel fuel; 17 plastic drums; a GPS; and a magnetic compass.
The issue of illegal fishing also drew the attention of Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr., who said the practice threatens regional food security./JAN, WDJ