Police and Bantay Dagat (fish wardens) arrested six fishers from Cebu province for allegedly fishing in a marine protected area (MPA) in Negros Oriental’s Vallehermoso town.
Lt. Stephen Polinar, spokesperson and deputy chief of the Police Community Affairs and Development Unit of the Negros Oriental Police Provincial Office, said the six male suspects were arrested in the seawaters off Barangay Puan, Vallehermoso at about 4:20 a.m.
Four were from Balamban town, one from Toledo City, and another from Cebu City.
A police investigation showed that the police and Bantay Dagat were conducting a seaborne patrol in Barangay Puan when they spotted a floating motorboat with its engine running, allegedly inside the marine protected area.
When they approached the motor banca, they saw the suspects allegedly gathering or catching fish with the use of compressor hoses and spear guns.
Polinar said charges of violation of Republic Act 10654, amending Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, were being readied against the suspects who are detained at the Vallehermoso police station.
Confiscated from them were a motorboat with an 18-horsepower engine; an air compressor with hoses, spear guns, and other fishing gear/paraphernalia. (PNA)