By Betheena Kae Unite
Three fishermen were apprehended for allegedly engaging in blast fishing off General Luna, Siargao Islands, in Surigao del Norte, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) said Thursday.
About 50 kilograms of blasted fish and the improvised explosives were recovered by the Coast Guard underwater after the fishermen threw their catch and the explosives in an attempt to evade arrest.
The fishermen identified as Sinclitico Borja Jr, 41; Regie Borja, 29; and Jackeyboy Rivas, 37, all residents of Barangay Union, Dapa, Surigao del Norte were eventually apprehended in the waters off General Luna on August 19 after they were caught red-handed carrying out blast fishing before throwing the pieces of evidence to the sea.
According to the Coast Guard Station (CGS) Siargao, they had to dive into the waters to recover the blasted fish and improvised explosives.
It was disclosed that CGS Siargao received a phone call from Police Staff Sergeant Russel Bual seeking immediate assistance regarding the alleged blast fishing in the area. He was also the one who requested for diving gears.
A team from Coast Guard Sub-station General and Palaka Divers’ Club responded in the site.
The arrested fishermen, according to PCG, violated the Section 92 “Fishing Through Explosives, Noxious or Poisonous Substance, or Electricity” of Republic Act 10654 or “The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998″.
They were later transported to the local police office in Barangay Catabaan, Dapa, Surigao del Norte for investigation.