THE five Vietnamese fishermen arrested by the Philippine Navy for illegally fishing on Philippine grounds remain in the custody of Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) in Sual.
Nestor Domenden, regional director of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources confirmed that the Vietnamese have not been released since the investigation on the case of poaching filed by the Philippine Navy against the Vietnamese fishermen is still ongoing.
Meanwhile Domenden said the five fishermen are well secured and well attended by PCG personnel, Sual municipal government and BFAR while inside their boat docked at the municipal port.
“The detained fishermen are getting provisions from the local government, the Coast Guard is securing the fishermen while BFAR is watching out for the fishing vessel,” Domenden said.
He said the five will only be released on the directive of the adjudication committee of BFAR national office.
He said the incident is proof that the government is serious in it’s call to stop illegal fishing and consequently, there have been no recorded sightings of foreign fishermen in the Philippine waters.
The Vietnamese fishermen were among the crew of 7 Vietnamese fishing boats intercepted by the Philippine Navy crew last September 22 at 34 nautical miles off Cape Bolinao. allegedly engaged in illegal fishing with the use of super light. Six vessels managed to escape while one was stopped.
However, the 49 crew of BRP Miguel Malvar of Philippine Navy were relieved on account of the death of two Vietnamese fishermen during the encounter. (Nora Dominguez)