Latest Stories

Vietnamese held over Philippines turtle catch

MANILA, Philippines—The Philippines detained 12 Vietnamese fishermen and their Malaysian-flagged boat for collecting endangered fish and sea turtles and poaching, an official said Wednesday.

The Filipino coast guard intercepted four fishing vessels in the Sulu Sea off the Malaysian state of Borneo late Sunday, but three escaped as the fourth was being boarded, fisheries bureau director James Perez said.

“Unfortunately we apprehended only one because the three other vessels resisted,” he told Agence France-Presse.

Officials found humphead wrasse, an endangered species of fish, on board the detained boat and about 50 sea turtles, including critically endangered hawksbill turtles, already dead and smothered in ice in its hold, he added.

“This is a Malaysian-flagged vessel, but the crew are Vietnamese,” he said. “We have filed a criminal complaint against them.”

The hawksbill turtle, Eretmochelys imbricata, grows up to 85 centimeters (33 inches) and can weigh up to 75 kilograms (165 pounds).

The International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) says it is “critically endangered” because it has been exploited for years as the sole source of commercial tortoise shell.

The humphead or Napoleon wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus, which grows up to 2.3 meters and weighs up to 191 kilograms, is one of the world’s largest reef fish.

Swiss-based IUCN classes it as “endangered” and says its numbers have fallen hugely over the past 30 years, a situation that it predicts will accelerate further due to rising live fish demand.

Catching or trafficking in critically endangered Philippine species is punishable by a six-year prison term and a million-peso ($23,000) fine, the environment department said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Conservation , Philippines , Poaching , Vietnamese

  • PHtaxpayer

    I actually swam and got to touch a huge hawksbill turtle swimming off Apo Island last Easter.  They are beautiful creatures and must be protected.  I was trying to catch it by hand but it was just playing with me and going around our dive boat.  I couldn’t imagine killing such a beautiful animal. He was looking at me in the eye and knew I wanted to catch him couple of times but knew I could not swim as fast as him.  LOL

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=712659826 Ben-Hur Viloria

    Please correct the name- its Humphead Maori Wrasse for Cheilinus undatus as there is another Humpheaded Wrasse- Coris aygula. Better stick to Napoleon Wrasse to avoid confusion.

  • reddfrog

    So much for asking ASEAN to join us in the fight against the Chinese.

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94


  • South Korea president shouted down by distraught parents
  • Classmates celebrating 60th birthday among missing in ferry sinking
  • Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  • Drilon, Nancy Binay urge Filipinos to strengthen faith
  • ‘Yolanda’ toll now at 6,300 – NDRRMC
  • Sports

  • Power Pinays smash India in Asian Women’s Club volleyball opener
  • PH youth boxers off to stumbling start in AIBA World tilt
  • Durant has 42, Thunder beat Pistons 112-111
  • Walker leads Bobcats over Bulls in OT, 91-86
  • Man City slips further out of title contention
  • Lifestyle

  • Pro visual artists, lensmen to judge Pagcor’s photo contest
  • ‘Labahita a la bacalao’
  • This is not just a farm
  • Clams and garlic, softshell crab risotto–not your usual seafood fare for Holy Week
  • Moist, extra-tender blueberry muffins
  • Entertainment

  • Will Arnett files for divorce from Amy Poehler
  • American rapper cuts own penis, jumps off building
  • Jay Z to bring Made in America music fest to LA
  • Why Lucky has not bought an engagement ring for Angel
  • Derek more private with new girlfriend
  • Business

  • World stocks subdued, Nikkei flat on profit taking
  • Asia stocks fail to match Wall Street gains
  • Fired Yahoo exec gets $58M for 15 months of work
  • PH presses bid to keep rice import controls
  • PSEi continues to gain
  • Technology

  • Netizens seethe over Aquino’s ‘sacrifice’ message
  • Filipinos #PrayForSouthKorea
  • Taylor Swift tries video blogging, crashes into fan’s bridal shower
  • DOF: Tagaytay, QC best at handling funds
  • Smart phone apps and sites perfect for the Holy Week
  • Opinion

  • Editorial cartoon, April 17, 2014
  • A humbler Church
  • Deepest darkness
  • ‘Agnihotra’ for Earth’s health
  • It’s the Holy Week, time to think of others
  • Global Nation

  • Syria most dangerous country for journalists, PH 3rd—watchdog
  • Japan says visa-free entry still a plan
  • First Fil-Am elected to Sierra Madre, Calif. city council
  • UC Irvine cultural night to dramatize clash of values in immigrant family
  • Filipino sweets and info served at UC Berkeley Spring Fest
  • Marketplace