By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
Two boat captains from Barangay Gahit, EB Magalona in Negros Occidental face charges in violation of RA 10654, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998; and Fisheries Administrative Order 246, which bans the use of the Danish seine, a type of fishing net used for commercial fishing, often referred to as hulbot-hulbot.
Senior Police Officer 1 (SPO1) Gilber Piedad, who leads the Iloilo Provincial Bantay Dagat Task Force, filed the complaint against Motorbanca Nelda captain Romeo Arroyo and Motorbanca R-R captain Roldan Guadalupe before the Iloilo Prosecutor’s Office over the weekend.
Both boat captains were caught fishing with the said net 4.5 kilometers from the shoreline of Barangay San Salvador, Banate, Iloilo, last week.
Seized from the two were their boats, which included engines, rudders, propellers, shafting, tom weights, and scaring lines; Danish seine fishing nets; among other paraphernalia.
Their crew members were not subject to the said law and were subsequently released by police.
Information regarding the cases was also forwarded to the Regional Trial Court of Barotac Viejo and the Municipal Circuit Trial Court of Barotac Viejo-Banate.
If found guilty, the offenders face a possible two to ten years behind bars and between P100,00 and P500,000 in fines./WDJ