Philippines Detains 19 Chinese Fishermen

September 5, 2007 at 7:01 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

COTABATO CITY, Philippines (Mindanao Examiner / 05 Sept) – Philippine authorities detained 19 Chinese fishermen for poaching off the southern island of Tawi-Tawi, police said Wednesday.

Police said security forces seized 19 live turtles and carcasses of 58 turtles and 50 more dried carcasses from the fishermen who were arrested at the weekend.

The poachers were arrested near Turtle Island, a marine sanctuary, said Chief Superintendent Joel Goltiao, director of the regional police in the Muslim autonomous region.

Other reports said some 10,000 turtle eggs and carcasses of about 200 endangered turtles were seized from the fishermen, all from Hainan in China.

Goltiao said they filed charges Tuesday against the Chinese poachers and their ship seized.

“We have filed criminal charges against the 19 Chinese poachers in violation of the Philippine laws,” he told the Mindanao Examiner.

He said Pasu Minda Bairulla, a Filipino environment officer assigned in Taganak Island, reported to the police the presence of the poachers near the Turtle Island.

Policemen, backed by Marines, Coast Guard and the Navy, surrounded the ship and arrested the fishermen.

Goltiao said police forces were closely working with the Coast Guard and the Navy and Marines in patrolling marine sanctuaries in the southern Philippines.

“Filipino fishermen are also helping authorities guard the sanctuaries against poachers,” he said.

Turtle eggs are considered an aphrodisiac in many Asian countries, but the in the Philippines their sale is illegal, but a black market for them persists.

Filipino patrol boats have previously detained Taiwanese and Chinese fishermen for poaching off the Sulu Archipelago, a favorite fishing ground in the south, but many areas also are considered marine sanctuary. (Mindanao Examiner)

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