Some of the 57 fishermen apprehended by the PCG and the Aborlan Bantay Dagat for alleged illegal fishing through the use of compressors. (Photo from Philippine Coast Guard)

Maritime law enforcement operatives apprehended Thursday a commercial fishing boat and two smaller ones carrying 57 fishermen for unlawful fishing in the municipal waters of Aborlan.

In an incident report released Friday, the PCG said the personnel of its substation in Puerto Princesa and the Aborlan Bantay Dagat apprehended the fishermen on November 4 following an intelligence report.

The PCG said their personnel spotted the fishermen engaged in illegal fishing operations using improvised air compressors — a violation of the Republic Act (RA) 10654, or The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, which bans the use of the fishing gear as it also catches smaller fish.

The fishing boat was intercepted in the seas of Aborlan municipality in southern Palawan. (Photo from Philippine Coast Guard)

The PCG issued an Enforcement Check Apprehension Report (EIAR) and a Certificate of Orderly Inspection (COI) to the boat captain, Gregorio Argulles Abong, after a safety inspection reinforced by “considerable” pieces of evidence discovered on board.

The apprehended fishing boats were transported to Barangay Apurawan, Aborlan, for an inventory of confiscated paraphernalia and illegally obtained fish, as well as the drafting of documentation required for charging.

As of November 5, the apprehended fishermen, their fishing boats, and confiscated paraphernalia remain under the custody of the Command Out Post (COP) Apurawan, while the illegally caught fish were turned over to the barangay captain of the barangay for proper disposition.

“The PCG is one with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in eradicating illegal fishing activities in the country’s waters to promote a healthy and sustainable Philippine marine ecosystem that supports food security and national stability,” the PCG said.

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