Six fisherfolk were apprehended for allegedly fishing through the use of a poisonous substance along the Ambacuag River in Sablan, Benguet, recently.
According to the report of the Sablan Municipal Police Station, a resident saw the fishermen pouring an alleged poisonous substance somewhere in the river in Sitio Ambacuag in Banangan, Sablan on the evening of Jan. 1 and came back the following day to pick the dead fishes.
They were arrested upon information to the police by a witness and a barangay kagawad.
Seized from the suspects, who are from Baguio City and Benguet who requested not to be named, were several species of fish.
The fishes, which were turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-CAR for identification and scientific examination, were eel, shrimp, and river mullet.
The suspects were charged for violating of Section 92 of Republic Act 8550 or the Fisheries Code of the Philippines as amended by RA 10654 or An Act to Prevent, Deter, and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported, and Unregulated Fishing.
Section 92 of RA 10654 states that fishing through the use of explosives, noxious or poisonous substances, or electricity is prohibited. If convicted, violators may face a fine equivalent to five times the value of the caught fishes or P30,000, whichever is higher and imprisonment ranging from five to 10 years, or both.
The lawyer of the suspects said his clients agreed to settle their administrative liability imposed under RA 10654.
BFAR is intensifying its campaign to curb all forms of illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing.