By Robert Maputi, Contributor | 07:55 PM September 7, 2019
At least six Badjao men, including three minors, were arrested for allegedly using an air compressor while fishing in the seawaters off Barangay Can-upao in Jagna town Saturday dawn.
The fishermen were identified as Jimmy Datanagan, 38, Rico Guba, 18, and three minors aged 12, 13, 14 and 15, all residents of Barangay Totolan in Dauis town.
Police and local Bantay Dagat officers reportedly caught the suspects at 3 a.m. on Saturday, September 7, engaged in compressor fishing a few kilometers off the shores of Can-upao.
Police said among the evidence they recovered were the motor banca with a double engine used by the fishermen, a compressor hose, three piecesid spear fishing nets, a flashlight and 8 kilos of assorted fish.
Compressor fishing, which entails the use of a thin plastic hose connected to an air compressor on the boat as the fisherman’s source of oxygen underwater, is prohibited under a municipal ordinance enacted in 2009.
It is declared the practice illegal because of its inherent occupational hazards posed to the fisherman.
The ordinance prohibits even the mere possession of an air compressor onboard a fishing boat or vessel as it is considered a prelude to its actual use.