NETWORK) – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Philippine Coast Guard apprehended on Monday (May 16) two Chinese fishing vessels flying an inverted Philippine flag off the country’s northernmost coast.
The ships were the Shen Lia Cheng with 12 crew members and the She Kou with 13 crew members.
The authorities were conducting a seaborne patrol aboard BFAR patrol vessels MCS 3010 and MM Patrol Boat 3049 when they chanced upon the two vessels in waters bound by Sabtang Island, Batanes in the north, Balintang Island in the west and Calayan Island.
Both had an inverted Philippine flag hoisted. They were detained on suspicion of poaching,
The ship’s documents showed that they are registered in China and that they had no prior authorisation to traverse Philippine waters.
The vessels were escorted to Basco, Batanes for further investigation.
Undersecretary for Fisheries Atty. Asis G. Perez said the crew claimed they were just passing through but failed to provide documents for the right of safe passage.