TUGUEGARAO CITY—The 10 Chinese fishermen who were arrested for poaching last month have paid a compromise fine amounting to P9.093 million, settling their administrative cases filed before the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
The amount paid is unprecedented in the Cagayan Valley region and marks the first time provisions of the recently enacted Republic Act 10654, which amended the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, were enforced.
The Chinese were aboard their fishing vessel M/V Lady Luck 020 when they were apprehended by elements of the BFAR and Philippine Coast Guard manning the BFAR patrol vessels MCS 3010 and MCS 3007.
The Chinese were apprehended last May 25 in the vicinity of Babuyan Claro in the Calayan Group of Islands, Cagayan province.
The fishermen were identified as Liang A. 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.
BFAR Cagayan Valley regional director Dr. Milagros Morales expressed her appreciation at this development and said the hefty fine shall serve as deterrent to other poachers.
BFAR director Asis G. Perez, in his order dated June 20, 2016, based his decision to accept the respondents’ offer for compromise on Department of Agriculture Administrative Order 10 and the Administrative Code of the Philippines.
The amount collected, which was remitted to the National Treasury, includes the penalties imposed for violation of other provisions of the Fisheries Code, specifically the ban on coral exploitation and the ban on muro-ami and other methods destructive to coral reefs. PNA
In their apprehension report, Rommel Diciano, Fishery law enforcer of BFAR RO2, stated that the Chinese vessel tried to mislead authorities by flying a Philippine flag, and with “Subic” painted on its astern side.
The Chinese crew failed to provide any document that would justify their presence in Philippine waters, Diciano said.
BFAR official Samuel Agaloos said that with the dismissal of the administrative case, the Chinese vessel will be released, pending clearance from other concerned agencies.