Task force seizes cargo of shark meat in Cebu

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Thursday, June 12, 2014


CEBU - A truck loaded with thresher shark meat was intercepted by the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force last Wednesday evening in the City of Naga.

Capitol Chief Security Officer Loy Madrigal said the task force confiscated 170 packs or 15 boxes of thresher shark meat and three quartered pieces of a shark.

Madrigal said the cargo may have come from 10 thresher sharks.

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The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources consider the thresher shark as a vulnerable species because of its declining population. Thresher sharks are known to have a low capacity to recover from exploitation.

Madrigal said the shark meat is intended to be used as ingredient in making tempura and fish ball in Lapu-Lapu City.

The Isuzu Elf truck (license plate, YKC 424), driven by Allan Empinado of Banilad, Cebu City, also carried 48 boxes of barla fish.

Empinado, 45, was accompanied by Gerry Atillo, 24, and Daniel Amistoso, 61, both from Barangay Basak, Lapu-lapu City. The three men are detained at the City of Naga Police Station.

Madrigal said he received a report that an endangered species is being transported from southern Cebu so he ordered a patrol team to check. The task force intercepted the truck at 10:30 p.m.

Madrigal said each box of fish contained 30 to 40 kilos, priced at P50 to P75.

He said Garry Cases, a thresher shark expert from Malapascua Island in Daanbatayan, identified the cargo as containing meat of thresher sharks.

The seized cargo was turned over to the Cebu Provincial Detention and Rehabilitation Center (CPDRC).

Madrigal said the barla fish will be consumed by inmates but the shark meat was placed in a compost pit at CPDRC.

Madrigal said the task force has the name of the tempura and fish ball makers that were the recipients of the illegal cargo but it is still investigating who caught the sharks.

Last week, the Capitol task force apprehended a boat that caught thresher sharks, seahorses and rays off Gato Island, Daanbantayan in northern Cebu.

Cebu Governor Hilario Davide III asked the provincial legal officer to file appropriate charges against the culprits. (Sun.Star Cebu)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 13, 2014.

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