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Residents raise concern over cyanide fishing by foreigners off Pag-asa Island

Local fishermen of Pag-asa Island expressed concern over the alleged illegal fishing activities, including cyanide fishing conducted by Vietnamese fishermen in the area, according to Chino Gaston’s report on 24 Oras on Thursday.

“Mga Vietnamese po. Sila ‘yong mahihilig mag-cyanide. Minsan na-encounter po naming nagsa-cyanide sila diyan. Grabe ‘yong operate nila,” said Larry Hugo, a fisherman residing on the island.

Cyanide fishing involves spraying a sodium cyanide mixture into the fish habitat to stun the fish.

Due to the foreigners’ illegal fishing activities, Hugo said they were only able to catch small types of fish.

‘Yong mga Chinese wala kaming nakikitang mga illegal na activities. Basta sila ang ginagawa nila, naka-floating lang ‘yong mga barko nila diyan,” he said.

Meanwhile, some of the local fishermen also said they were not able to fish near the Subi Reef, the nearest neighbor of Pag-asa Island, because it is being guarded by several Chinese fishing militia.

After the completion of the newly-completed beach ramp on the island, local fishermen have been provided with a boat shelter that they can use during bad weather.

“Napaka-importante po niyan, lalong-lalo na sa aming mga naghahakot ng mga lantsa, na naghahakot kami ng mga materials, mga pagkain. Ngayon po talagang napakagandang nakadikit na diyan sa may pantalan,” Kalayaan Island Group Mayor Roberto del Mundo said.

There are other efforts to extend assistance or services to the residents.

The National Power Corporation will be coordinating with the local government unit regarding the electricity supply of the residents.

The LGU is also planning to build a community fish freezer. -- Ma. Angelica Garcia/BAP, GMA News