By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
The Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force formally sued the owner and pilot of the fishing boat Nene Karen IV, which was apprehended late last month for illegal fishing.
Iloilo-based boat owner Policarpio Bonapus of Estancia and pilot Ruben de la Cruz of Carles both face charges in violation of RA 10654, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, and Fisheries Administrative Order 246, which bans the use of Danish seine, a type of fishing net used for commercial fishing.
Their vessel was caught 7.9 kilometers off the coast of Barangay Punta Carles, Carles. According to Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Jone Ronie Panes, among the items seized included two engine units, shafting, propeller, rudder, mechanical winch, tom weight, scaring lines, Danish seine fishing nets, and eight tubs of assorted fish.
Since September 2016, the task force has apprehended and charged 10 illegal fishermen.
Meanwhile, Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. recently led the recognition of the task force and issued a citation, which noted, “Their sleepless nights – away from home and loved ones – to guard the Visayan Sea deserves no less than the brightest spotlight of recognition by a grateful people.”/WDJ