【英语中国】菲律宾指控中国渔民涉嫌偷猎濒危海龟 Philippine Authorities Charge Chinese Fishermen for Alleged Sea-Turtle Poaching

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2014-5-13 08:18

小艾摘要: Philippine authorities on Monday filed charges against nine of the 11 Chinese fishermen apprehended last week for allegedly poaching hundreds of endangered sea turtles in a shoal near the disputed Spr ...
Philippine Authorities Charge Chinese Fishermen for Alleged Sea-Turtle Poaching
Philippine authorities on Monday filed charges against nine of the 11 Chinese fishermen apprehended last week for allegedly poaching hundreds of endangered sea turtles in a shoal near the disputed Spratly Islands in the South China Sea.

Prosecutor Allen Ross Rodriguez told The Wall Street Journal the Chinese fishermen face up to 20 years in prison for gathering 'critically endangered' species, such as the Hawksbill turtle.

Two Chinese suspects were released because they are minors, he said. In addition, five Filipino fishermen accused of loading the marine turtles onto the Chinese vessel were charged with the illegal gathering and trafficking of endangered species.

'I will ask the judge to commit [the Chinese fishermen] to the provincial jail,' said Mr. Rodriguez. The Philippines's provincial jail is for punishment of more serious crimes than city jails or police-holding cells.

It isn't clear, however, how long the Chinese fishermen will stay in jail amid pressure from China. The Chinese Ministry of Foreign Affairs has demanded the fishermen's immediate release, claiming they were in Chinese territory when the Filipino maritime police arrested them early last week.

The apprehension of the Chinese fisherman coincided with a row last week between China and Vietnam, when a Chinese state-run energy company deployed an oil rig in disputed waters.

Philippines authorities said they found 489 sea turtles--108 of them alive and 381 dead--on the two boats. The authorities inventoried the turtles Saturday after the two fishing vessels arrived in Puerto Princesa, having been towed by maritime police for days, Mr. Rodriguez said.

The live turtles were immediately released to sea after they were photographed for prosecution of the Chinese and Filipino fishermen.

Seventeen of the live turtles were Hawksbill while 91 were Green Sea turtles. The Hawksbill is a critically endangered species of marine turtle, the poaching of which would trigger, upon a conviction, 12 to 20 years of imprisonment or a fine of $2,290 per act. Philippine environmental laws allow bail for suspects accused of poaching if they are foreigners.

The Philippines is a hotbed for poaching. Five of the seven species of sea turtles around the world can be found in the Philippines because of the plentiful sea-grass beds.

Aside from the Hawskbill and Green Sea turtles, other species found in the country include the Olive Ridley, the Loggerhead and the Leatherback, the other marine-turtle species most threatened by extinction.

Sea turtles are valued for their eggs and meat--used in Chinese and other East Asian cuisine--and in Chinese medicine. Japan is a major buyer of sea turtle shells, known as Bekko, which are used for ornaments and jewelry.

菲律宾有关部门周一对上周被拘捕的11名中国渔民中的九人提出指控,因这些渔民涉嫌在南中国海(中国称南海)的争议岛屿斯普拉特利群岛(Spratly Islands,中国称南沙群岛)附近的一处浅滩偷猎数百只濒危海龟。

相关报道检察官罗德里格斯(Allen Ross Rodriguez)对《华尔街日报》说,这些中国渔民因收集严重濒危的物种(比如玳瑁)而面临最高20年有期徒刑。

他说,有两名中国嫌疑人因未成年而被释放。此外,涉嫌将海龟装上中国船只的五名菲律宾渔民被控非法收集并走私濒危物种。

Reuters菲律宾公主港市,从一艘中国渔船上卸下的海龟。罗德里格斯说,他将请法官判决中国渔民在省监狱服刑。相比市监狱或警方控制的牢房,菲律宾的省监狱是为惩罚犯有更严重罪行的人。

不过尚不清楚在中国的压力下,这些中国渔民将被判多少年监禁。中国外交部已要求菲律宾方面立即释放被扣押的中国渔民,称上周初被菲律宾海警扣押时,渔民们是在中国的海域进行作业。

中国渔民被扣押正值上周中越发生对峙之际。一家中国国有能源公司上周在争议海域部署了一个 井平台。

菲律宾当局称,他们在两艘渔船上发现了489只海龟,其中108只还活着,381只死亡。罗德里格斯说,上周六这两艘渔船到达公主港市(Puerto Princesa)后,菲律宾当局清点了船上的海龟。菲律宾海警花了几天的时间把这两艘渔船拖到了港口。

当局对这些海龟进行了拍照,用于起诉涉案的中国和菲律宾渔民,随后活海龟马上被释放到海中。

活着的海龟中有17只是玳瑁龟,91只是绿海龟。玳瑁龟是所有种类海龟中极度濒危的一种,一旦非法狩猎这种海龟的罪名成立,嫌疑人将被判处12-20年监禁,或处以每次偷猎2,290美元的罚款。根据菲律宾环境法,如果涉嫌非法狩猎的嫌疑人是外国人,则可以允许保释。

菲律宾是偷猎的温床。由于拥有丰富的海草床,世界上现存的七种海龟中菲律宾有五种。

除了玳瑁龟和绿海龟,其它三种在菲律宾发现的海龟为太平洋丽龟(Olive Ridley)、 龟(Loggerhead)和革龟(Leatherback)。革龟是另外一种灭绝风险最大的海龟种类。

海龟蛋和肉在中国和其他一些东亚国家被视为珍品,既可以食用,也用于中药。日本是海龟壳的主要买家,海龟壳在日本被用于生产装饰品和首饰。

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