Eight fishermen were arrested by the Philippine authorities for illegal entry inside the country’s territorial waters in Mangsee Palawan and for allegedly poaching assorted species of marine wildlife last Sept. 27.

After an inspection, the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) has found 11 Spotted White Wedgefish, 3 unknown shark skin, 2 unknown shark jaws, and 3 unknown species of ray and 1 blacktip shark inside the 32-meter long Vietnamese Foreign Vessel. 

According to the report by PCG, the said vessel was found in a rich fishing ground during a fair weather without possessing any document to validate their entry. It was also stated that the alleged poachers were seen throwing something at the sea, which was likely to be some of their illegal catch, while the coastguard vessel was approaching to their boat.

The PCG has charged the eight Vietnamese with poaching under R.A. 8550, or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, as amended by R.A. 10654.

Meanwhile, the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development Staff (PCSDS) filed a case against the eight Vietnamese for violating R.A. 9147, Section 27 (f) that prohibits “collecting, hunting or possessing wildlife, their by-products and derivatives.”

PCSDS ERED OIC Levita Lagrada said PCSDS and law enforcement groups are continually combating wildlife-related crimes by strengthening coordination and empowering local communities and partners.

She added that the establishment of PALAWEN, an interagency network for wildlife law enforcement, and the development of digital tools such BRAIN will help make the monitoring and reporting system more efficient.

Eleven pieces of dried Spotted White Wedgefish, scientifically known as Rhynchobatus australiae, were confiscated. This species is included in the IUCN list of threatened species.
Staff from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource helps in identifying and counting the items carried by the Vietnamese. 
Meat from unidentified species were seen being dried.
Fins and jaws from unidentified species of shark.