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CAGAYAN, Philippines – Ten Chinese poachers have paid the Philippine government a P9-million fine for violating its fisheries law, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) office in this province announced on Wednesday, June 22.
Samuel Agaloos, law enforcement chief of BFAR-Cagayan Valley, made the announcement.
The Bureau of Immigration (BI) in Tuguegarao City said the Chinese poachers may soon be deported.
Geronimo Santos, Alien Control Officer of the local immigration department, said he has recommended a summary deportation of the poachers. The local office is just is just awaiting the resolution from the BI central office on the case.
BFAR-Cagayan had earlier identified the Chinese fishermen as Liang Gui, Su Jia Ying, Zhang Ceng Fu, Wang Sheng Li, Shun Ji Ting, Zhuo Dao Jie, Wang Jia Yuan, Zhao Lian Zhau, Ye Xiao Jian, and Xie Yong Feng.
They were charged for violation of Republic Act 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code, particularly for poaching, gathering and possession of precious corals, and use of destructive gears.
The Philippine Coast Guard and BFAR-Cagayan Valley nabbed the Chinese fishermen in waters northeast of Camiguin Island, in Calayan, Cagayan, on May 25.
The crew members of Chinese vessel M/V Lady Luck were suspected of flying the Philippine flag to conceal that they were engaged in illegal fishing. The vessel also had “020 Subic” marked on its side. Another Chinese vessel escaped, Agaloos said.
“As they approached the subject vessels, all the lights were switched off and the two vessels started to evade the apprehending authorities, and one of the vessels managed to escape. At one time, the fishing vessel even rammed one of our patrol boats,” he added.
BFAR said documents obtained during the vessle inspection showed that the it is registered in China, had no authority to operate in Philipine waters, and its crew members are Chinese nationals.
On May 16, another joint PCG-BFAR team seized two Chinese fishing vessels suspected of poaching in waters between Babuyan Island and Batanes province. The vessels also flew the Philippine flag – hoisted incorrectly – apparently to evade authorities.
The Philippines has stepped up efforts to stop the activities of foreign poachers in its waters. Last year, the government purchased 100 new patrol boats to protect its fisheries and marine resources from poachers. – Rappler.com