MASBATE CITY, Feb. 27 (PIA) -- Authorities have stepped up the crackdown on destructive methods of fishing and declared fish sanctuaries in several parts of the island in an apparent serious conservation effort.
A total of 23 fishermen from the town of Milagros, Masbate were arrested late last week in the waters off the neighboring town of Cawayan for allegedly fishing inside a breeding area where they were not allowed to fish.
The 23 were manning eight small motorized boats that encroached the area which police said had been declared by a municipal ordinance as off limits to fishers.
Chief Insp. Romeo Lupango Jr., spokesperson of the police provincial headquarters, said the fishermen were seen casting their nets inside the fish sanctuary.
He said the boats were also impounded.
Lupango said formal charges were filed before the Masbate City Prosecution Service against the boat owners and crewmembers.
They were being held at the jail in Camp Bonny Serrano in this city pending their appearance in the prosecutor’s office which conducted the inquest proceedings on the cases against them.
Crackdown on illegal fishers and methods of fishing in this island province remains relentless to ensure sustainable livelihood and source of income for majority of the residents that mostly depends on the resources from the sea. (MAL/EAD, PIA Masbate)