MANILA, Philippines – Philippine officials say 12 Vietnamese fishermen have been arrested for poaching endangered marine turtles, black corals and reef fishes in southern Philippines waters.
Philippine fisheries bureau head Asis Perez said Wednesday the Vietnamese and their Malaysian-flagged fishing boat were apprehended Monday by coast guard and fisheries bureau operatives 23 nautical miles (43 kilometers) off Jolo Island's Pangutaran township.
The coast guard says inside the boat were 50 pieces of dead marine turtles, five bundles of black corals and reef fishes including the high-value but vanishing Napoleon wrasse.
Perez says three other foreign fishing boats spotted in the same area managed to flee toward Malaysia.
He says administrative and criminal cases are being prepared against the fishermen.