Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) District Palawan apprehended four fishing vessels Friday evening in Roxas Palawan for using compressor and operating without necessary documents. (Photo courtesy of Aira Genessa Magdayao)

Five fishing boats with a total of 70 crew members were apprehended in two separate operations recently for illegal fishing and other violations in the waters off Roxas municipality.

They were intercepted by patroling joint personnel of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Apprehended on November 21 were fishing boats Delilah-2 with 20 crew and FB Aries with 20 crew on the next day in Constancia shoal.

On November 22, three more were apprehended — Dwight with nine crew, Prince Jariel nine and Narcissa 888 with 12 crew in the vicinity of Pasig shoal.

They were taken into custody after the patroling PCG and BFAR team chanced upon them while using compressors within the vicinity of the shoals.

Commander Jerome Jeciel of the apprehending vessel said aside from illegal fishing, the crewmen of the boats were also unable to show safety certificates and certificates of registry and ownership. Skippers also have expired seafarer’s identification books.

Jeciel said they sighted the fishing vessels in the area while conducting patrol en route to town.

“En route to Roxas, we sighted the fishing boats in Consolacion shoal kung saan ay mababaw lang at doon sila madalas pumipuwesto. Isa sa mga violation nila ‘yong walang kaukulang dokumento at ang pagamit ng compressor na alam natin na mahigpit na ipinagbabawal dito,” Jeciel said.

The apprehended vessels were towed by the DA-BFAR MCS 3009 manned by PCG personnel on November 22 at the port of Puerto Princesa.

The owner of the vessels are residents of the city.

Earlier this week, the 2nd Special Operations Unit-Maritime Group also apprehended three fishing boats in Sombrero Island, Aborlan with a total of P1.5 million confiscated items.