The F/BCA RDA with 38 Filipino crew that was intercepted near the gas platform in the interdiction/neutralization zone on May 4, 2019, by BRP Nestor Reinoso (PC 380). (Photo courtesy of the WESCOM Public Affairs Office)

A class coastal patrol boat of the Philippine Navy (PN) has intercepted a fishing vessel with 38 Filipino crew within the vicinity of the offshore Malampaya natural gas project.

A statement released by the Western Command (WESCOM) on Monday said the PN’s BRP Nestor Reinoso (PC 380) spotted F/BCA RDA on May 4 near the gas platform in the interdiction/neutralization zone at around 6:00 a.m.

“After inspection of the fishing boat, it was revealed that it has compressor fishing gears which are being used for illegal fishing. PC 380 brought the boat to Liminangcong Pier, Taytay, and was properly turned over to the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) for proper disposition,” the statement said.

The F/BCA RDA fishing vessel. (Photo courtesy of the WESCOM Public Affairs Office)

Meanwhile, WESCOM commander Vice Admiral Rene Medina, said: “WESCOM continues to conduct maritime security patrols and support to maritime law enforcement in Palawan waters and vital installations, including the West Philippine Sea, to ensure that natural resources and rich biodiversity are protected for future generations.”

Under Presidential Proclamation 72, the “entry of vessels is prohibited within the exclusion zone” as well as “all other activities which may pose a potential risk to the project infrastructure and to public safety.”

The Malampaya platform’s safety zone also prohibits trawl fishing or other fishing methods which involve the use of weights, anchors or similar devices on the seabed; anchoring; use of and/or dumping of explosives, and all other activities detrimental to the structure.

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