A group of 38 fishermen from Quezon province were apprehended by local authorities in Canarem Island in Linapacan town while aboard 18 pump boats for violating fishery laws.

Town mayor Emil Neri said that fishermen from Nangalao and Cabunlawan expressed concern about the increasing number of transient fishermen in the waters of Linapacan.

As a response, the mayor immediately went to Bgy. Nangalao and Cabunlawan to investigate the situation. There, the Linapacan Municipal Police Station (MPS) presented the arrested fishermen who were later discovered to be owned by an official from Quezon Province.

According to Neri, a fish buyer who claimed that the suppliers were residents of Bgy. Nangalao, Linapacan, and who had obtained a permit, was found to have employed transient fishermen instead.

The mayor stressed that the increasing number of illegal fishers within their municipal waters may lead to the depletion of marine resources, endangering the food security of the residents.

“Kahit mga Pilipino ang mga ito, kailangan pa rin nilang kumuha ng fishing permit sa LGU na nakasasakop sa lugar. Posibleng ma-deplete ang marine resources na pinagkukunan ng pagkain ng mga taga-Linapacan kung hindi masasawata ang illegal na pagpasok ng mga mangingisdang wala nang mahuling isda sa kani-kanilang mga lugar dahil sa overfishing, kung kaya’t Linapacan na naman ang nagiging target,” he said.

(Even if they are Filipinos, they still need to obtain a fishing permit from the LGU that covers the area. The increasing number of illegal fishermen entering their municipal waters may lead to the depletion of marine resources, which are sources of food for the residents of Linapacan. If the illegal entry of fishermen who can no longer catch fish in their own places due to overfishing is not stopped, then Linapacan will be targeted once again.)

The local government unit (LGU) confiscated the apprehended boats and initiated filing of cases in violation of Section 86 of Republic Act 10654, which prohibits unauthorized fishing.