Release of shark fins questioned by group

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Monday, August 25, 2014


THERE should have been a clearer analysis if the shark fins intercepted in Mandaue City last Saturday did not come from endangered shark species before these were released, said an officer of Greenpeace Southeast Asia (GSA).

Vince Cinches, an “oceans campaigner” of GSA, said the technical working group created during the Shark Summit on Aug. 14 and 15 will write the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Central Visayas to ask questions about the shark fins that were released.

The Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force and Lapu-Lapu City’s Task Force Kalikasan stopped a 20-foot cargo container loaded with 5,000 kilos of dried shark fins at 11:30 a.m. last Saturday.

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It was estimated that the sacks of shark fins probably cost P15 million.

But hours later, after the truck was intercepted and brought to the Cebu International Convention Center, the shark fins were released after the broker showed documents, saying that the fins came from blue sharks, which are not covered by a provincial ordinance.

Imported

Earlier, Capitol Chief Security Officer Loy Madrigal, who heads the task force, said that aside from the BFAR in Central Visayas permit, some documents also showed that the fins were imported from Spain.

“BFAR should not trust in giving permit to corporations who transport sharks without even looking at asa ni gikan ang shark ug unsay impact ani sa (where the sharks come from and what is its impact to the) ecosystem,” Cinches said.

He said GSA will come up with a statement and specific recommendations addressed to the BFAR this week.

Cinches said the Provincial Government and other local government units should strengthen their existing legislation that will not only focus on catching the endangered species, but also include their transport.

He also encouraged the Hotel Resort and Restaurant Association of Cebu to come up with strong measures and monitor their hotel and restaurant members if shark fins and other products are included in the menu.

Ban

The intercepted shark fins, which bear the consignee name of Qian Hang Trading Corp., were to be shipped to Hong Kong.

Cinches said an organization based in Hong Kong will try to intercept the shipment if it arrives there.

He said such group will also like to call for a stronger legislation to ban the use of shark fins in Hong Kong.

Earlier, concerned citizens were the ones who reported that sharks fins were being
dried under the sun inside a compound in Sitio Dapdap and Sitio Soong, Barangay Mactan in Lapu-lapu City.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 25, 2014.

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