Around 70 pieces of slaughtered sharks had been seized from the 10 Vietnamese fishermen apprehended on Thursday in Philippine waters, near the Malampaya gas platform in El Nido, northern Palawan, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
BFAR Regional Director Elizer Salilig told reporters they have yet to identify the species of sharks that were found in the fishing vessel.
Authorities said the Vietnamese may face additional charges of violating the Philippine Wildlife Act if the sharks are determined to be endangered species, in addition to illegal fishing and illegal entry.
“Doon natin magi-gauge ‘yung extent ng violation. Siyempre dagdag ‘yun kapag halimbawa endangered species ‘yung nakuha sa kanila,” PCSD Spokesperson John Vincent Fabello told Palawan News.
Police identified the foreign nationals as Nguyen Thanh Hiep, 46 and boat captain, Vo Van Lang, 47, Phan Dung, 49, Truong Cao Ky, 51, Dinh Van Hai, 46, Bui Van Bao, 30, Tran Ngoc Son, 24, Do Hung, 54, Nguyen Van Huynh, 56, Nguyen Cung Vu, 22. All were reported to be residents of Phuyen, Vietnam.
All items confiscated from the fishing boat were turned over to the Provincial Fishery and Aquatic Resources Officer of northern Palawan.
At press time, the suspects were being transported to Puerto Princesa for inquest and filing of appropriate case for illegal fishing.