Task force readies complaints against shark captors

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Friday, June 6, 2014

THE Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force has asked the guidance of the Provincial Legal Office on the charges to be filed against the 31 crew members from two fishing trawlers arrested last Wednesday dawn.

Capitol chief security officer and task force chief Loy Madrigal said the confiscated assorted fishes and endangered species from the two fishing trawlers have a market value of more than P500,000.

Madrigal said the arrested crewmen will be made to pay P5,000 as penalty for each kilo of the confiscated marine species.


The task force intercepted fishing boats, Angel May and Laura-Rowella, in Daanbantayan town for allegedly transporting, among others, sharks and dried seahorses, and for fishing in municipal waters.

The trawlers were reportedly spotted fishing within the vicinity of Isla de Gato, which is within the municipal waters of Daanbantayan. Both vessels were from Cadiz City, Negros Occidental.

Madrigal yesterday clarified that the two sharks found from the two fishing trawlers were not thresher sharks but nurse sharks.

One nurse shark, along with four dried seahorses, was spotted in the fishing trawler Angel May, which had 16 crewmen on board. Fishing trawler Laura-Rowella, on the other hand, which had 15-member crew, held 150 banyeras or large basins of assorted fishes, two seahorses, a nurse shark and a sting ray.

Each large basin contains 30 kilos of fish.

Madrigal said nurse sharks are still vulnerable. He will have to check, though, if nurse sharks have been declared endangered.

Madrigal said dried seahorses are sold at P15,000 per kilo.

The six dried seahorses confiscated from the two fishing trawlers were in the custody of Madrigal, which will be used as evidence in filing charges against the arrested crewmen.

He said the fishing boats violated Section 97 of R.A. 8550 (Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998), which prohibits the taking of rare and endangered species, like seahorses, and Section 90, which prohibits the use of active fishing gears, such as portable sonar and lights, in the municipal waters. These active gears would detect schools of fish underwater.

Madrigal said the crewmen are detained at the detention cell of the Daanbantayan Police Station. They will be brought to the Provincial Capitol today for the filing of complaints.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 07, 2014.

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