Authorities impounded a Vietnamese vessel for illegal fishing off the waters of Tawi-tawi last week, a military official said on Tuesday.
Major Arvin Encinas, Western Mindanao Command spokesman, said the Vietnamese vessel was seized during maritime patrol operation by joint elements of the Coast Guard Sub-Station Great Bakkungan and Turtle Islands municipal police station in waters off Great Bakkungan, Langaan, and Boan Islands on Turtle Islands at 2 pm last August 15.
Encinas said maritime patrol operations were made following the reported presence of a vessel illegally operating in the area.
"The team apprehended one unmarked SSEN (safety security environmental number) marking fishing vessel illegally fishing at sea waters off Langaan Island," he said.
"During inspection, it was found out that the vessel was manned by four Vietnamese crew members without legal documents," he added.
Encinas said the Vietnamese vessel contains a drum and three pails of sea cucumber.
He said the vessel was towed to Coast Guard sub-station Great Bakkungan where it is impounded in Bongao for filing of appropriate charges.
Following the incident, Lt. Gen. Cirilito Sobejana, commander of the Western Mindanao Command, encouraged ''each and every Filipino citizen to immediately report to the proper authorities any illegal fishing activity in their area."
“Let us be more vigilant and contribute in the conservation and protection of our natural resources,” he said. Robina Asido/DMS