Nine residents of Caramoran were caught in the act of engaging in illegal fishing in the territorial waters of Pandan town last week.
Joint elements of the Pandan and Caramoran police stations led by PO1 Dan Bagay were conducting a seaborne patrol at the sea off barangay San Andres at 3 P.M. of Feb. 25 when they came upon the suspects on board two motorized bancas equipped with air compressor system with complete accessories.
The suspects were identified as Edison Ferrer, 19, Dino Ramos, 30, Ruel Torres, 34, Christian Iccawat, 25, Mark Edzel Bermejo, 26, Jarwin Bermejo, 21, Michael Ramos, 35, Glenden Torres, 30, and Aljon Niebres, 24, all of Palumbanes Island, Toytoy, Caramoran.
Confiscated in their possession were 1.5 kilos of poisonous sodium cyanide in solid form, nine pieces of “lapu-lapu” fish believed caught using the toxic substance, two compressor tanks, three engines, 100 meters of compressor hose, 13 pieces “yapak” (foot paddles), a pack of compressor hose, spear gun , six diving masks, 50 meters nylon rope, a floater and engine accessories.
One of the series launched since early this year, the operation was conducted pursuant to Mayor Raul Tabirara’s directive to authorities to intensify the campaign against illegal fishing as the town establishes a marine sanctuary in a bid to preserve its remaining aquatic resources and prevent the degradation of its sea waters.
Mayor Tabirara said the protection of Pandan’s territorial seas is part of his environmental protection agenda to preserve the resource for his people and the next generation as one their sources of livelihood. He added that he will ensure the protection of the environment at all cost through all legal means whole at same time considering all possible remedies to provide alternative means of livelihood to those who will be affected.
Last Feb. 11, 80 local fishermen were granted non-motorized bancas and nets as livelihood assistance from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) through Regional Director Dennis del Socorro during the launching of the marine sanctuary project.