Manila Bulletin

‘Muro-ami’ boats seized by Masbate authoritie­s


Joint operations of the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG), Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and local government units (LGUs) in Masbate apprehende­d five vessels engaged in illegal fishing Saturday in the high seas off Sibuyan Island in Masbate, a PCG report said.

Patrolling teams aboard PCG's monitoring control and surveillan­ce (MCS) 3004 vessel apprehende­d five fishing boats named "Yumie-2", "Rosalinda-2", "Yan Mae,” "Yanyan" and "Kia Jane".

Personnel of the MCS 3004 were reportedly conducting a maritime control in the vicinity of Balud, Jintotolo and Zapatos Islands in Masbate on May 12 when they chanced upon the vessels performing an illegal fishing method called "Danish Seine" or more locally known as "hulbot-hulbot” and “muro-ami.”

Response teams immediatel­y approached the vessels and apprehende­d a total of 74 crew members, including the boats’ captains. During the board and search procedure, authoritie­s confiscate­d illegal fishing equipment including scare lines and fish nets and a caliber .45, from one of the vessels.

"Hulbot-hulbot", also known as "muro-ami" fishing, is a method of fishing banned in the Philippine waters due to its tendency of destroying coral reefs, sea grass beds and other marine life habitats.

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