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Dredging ships off Zambales held by PCG

MANILA, Philippines — Several vessels reportedly involved in dredging operations in Zambales were held by authorities for engaging in the illegal activity. 

The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) “conducted marine environmental protection inspection and vessel safety enforcement inspection on board these vessels – recording 344 deficiencies for adjudication of the Coast Guard Station Manila,” it said in a statement.

Of the 28 vessels inspected by the agency from March 19 to 21 –  25 bareboat charters registered in the Philippines and three foreign ones registered in China, Sierra Leone and Panama – 17 were detained. 

The detained vessels were all “bareboat charters registered in the Philippines,” the PCG noted. 

Meanwhile, the foreign vessels were also found with “deficiencies,” but were not detained, the agency added. A cutter suction dredger under China had “six deficiencies,” an anchor boat from Sierra Leone had “seven deficiencies” and a tugboat under Panama had “12 deficiencies.”

The boats found with deficiencies were given Enforcement Inspection Apprehension Report to be “adjudicated” by the PCG’s stations in Manila and Zambales.

The vessels with deficiencies were identified through special permits and bareboat charter issued by the Maritime Industry Authority or MARINA, which were used to compare with the list of identified dredgers and suction cutters in Zambales, the agency also said.