Zambales fishermen warned vs catching ‘pawikan,’ using explosives
ZAMBALES, Philippines — Local fishermen were warned against catching endangered pawikan (marine turtles) and using explosives after a photo of a mangled Green Sea Turtle circulated on social media.
The 302nd Maritime Police Station here said the sea turtle was found in the boat of three fishermen allegedly conducting dynamite fishing in the municipal water recently.
Emerson Y. Sy, executive director of the Philippine Center for Terrestrial and Aquatic Research, shared the photos on Facebook on March 20.
The Maritime police arrested fisherman Norlie Romanba, 30, of Barangay Lipay Dingin in this town, after he and two other fishermen were seen using dynamite in fishing.
The two other fishermen managed to escape while authorities seized from Romanba a styro box with assorted fish and the sea turtle. It was not clear if the Green Sea Turtle was caught through dynamite fishing.
Provincial Environment and Natural Resources Officer Raymond Rivera reminded fisherman that marine turtles are classified as endangered and there is a national law requiring the conservation and protection of this endangered species.
Republic Act No. 9147 provides for the conservation and protection of wildlife resources and their habitats. Violators will be fined as much as P300,000 and face a jail term of as much as four years.
Rivera said that while the control and detection of illegal fishing are directly under the Bureau of Fishery and Aquatic Resources, the DENR is actively participating in enforcing national laws.
“To those who are still involved in illegal fishing, we ask that they stop or else they will face the consequence of violating the law,” said Rivera. /ee
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