Seized shark meat owned by Aussie, not contraband

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Saturday, June 21, 2014


THE fish meat seized last Thursday in Barangay Bankal, Lapu-Lapu City came from gummy sharks, which are not considered endangered species, an official of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) 7 said.

Though killing and selling gummy sharks is not prohibited by law, Bfar 7 Assistant Director Allan Poquita said the owner of the seized cargo should still present a business permit and a permit to transport the fish products, among other documents.

“There’s no violation, since there’s no prohibition (in killing and selling gummy sharks),” Poquita said in an interview with GMA 7’s Balitang Bisdak.

The Lapu-Lapu City Police Office (LLCPO) Task Force Kalikasan stopped a multicab loaded with 1,650 kilos of sliced shark meat past 5 p.m. last Thursday in Sitio Fire Crash, Barangay Bankal.

Frederico Cabido, 48, driver of the multicab, said he was taking the cargo from Barangay Marigondon in Lapu-Lapu to Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.

Cabido failed to present a business permit and a permit from the Bfar to transport the fish products.

Claimant

Later in the evening, an Australian national went to the LLCPO and said the fish meat came from his company and were being delivered to a businessman in Pasil.

Daniel Walker, whose wife operates the H. A. Marine International in Sitio Siniporon, Barangay Suba-Basbas, Lapu-Lapu City, told authorities the cargo were leftovers of gummy sharks imported from Australia.

They have a plant where they remove the fins of gummy sharks.

Orlando Leyson, chair of the City Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Management Council, initially suspected the fish meat to have come from thresher sharks and whale sharks, which are considered endangered species.

The Task Force Kalikasan brought the seized cargo to the Bfar 7 office yesterday morning.

Supt. Virgil Ranes, LLCPO deputy chief for operations and head of the Task Force Kalikasan, said the cargo will be released once the owner presents a business permit issued by the Lapu-Lapu City Government, an auxiliary permit and a local transport permit from the Bfar.

Cabido, a resident of Barangay Sawang Calero, and his aide Adonis Dolores, 21, of Barangay Pasil, were released by the police yesterday morning.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2014.

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