Bantay Dagat seizes 22 boxes of fish

TWENTY-TWO boxes of fish believed to have been caught through dynamite fishing were confiscated by the Cebu City Bantay Dagat Commission (CCBDC) yesterday morning. About 880 kilos of dynamited sardines (tuloy) stored in ice boxes were loaded in two Isuzu Elf with plate number GXD 240 and GXE 511. The trucks, which came from Mahawak in Medellin town, were supposed to deliver the goods to the fish market in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City yesterday. Ret. Col. Ranulfo Sebusa, the project director of CCBDC, said it was their seventh apprehension since he took over the commission last May 2. “There were actually 62 boxes of sardines on the two trucks but when the Bfar inspected the goods, only 22 boxes tested positive for dynamite fishing,” Sebusa said. Prohibited Dynamite fishing is prohibited under Section 12 of Republic Act 4003, or the Fisheries Act of the Philippines. The operation of the CCBDC task force was conducted in coordination with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) 7. The CCBDC project director estimated the confiscated fish to weigh 880 kilos, worth around P30,000. He said his men waited for the two trucks in Liloan town after they were informed that dynamited fish were loaded in the two trucks. When they spotted the cargo trucks in Liloan, the CCBDC and Bfar personnel followed them and apprehended its drivers when they reached Pier 4 area in Cebu City. Sebusa said the fish seized from the two trucks driven by Dodong Cañete and Delfin Noynay, who were with two other companions, were supposed to be unloaded at the Pasil Fish Market. ‘No owner’ The CCBDC project director said no one claimed ownership of the illegally caught fish, so they released the trucks, drivers and their companions with a stern warning not to carry dynamited fish again. “Since no one claimed ownership of the fish, we decided to release the drivers and their companions, as well as the 40 boxes of fish that tested negative. We also warned the drivers that we will confiscate their license if they get caught again,” Sebusa said. He said the six boxes of fish were turned over to Bfar while the remaining 16 boxes were kept in their office for proper disposal. Sebusa said they already confiscated more than 2,000 kilos of illegally caught fish since he assumed his post. The goods were distributed to the different charitable institutions. He said their biggest catch so far was the 1,500 kilos of dynamited fish from Zambonga City, which were confiscated last May. Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 12, 2011.