Coast Guard intercepts P3.6-M seahorse shipment in Zamboanga

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DAVAO  CITY  (August 17) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) station in Zamboanga City confiscated a total of  P3.6-million worth of  dead seahorses (hippocampus spp) or locally known as kaba-kabayo on Wednesday, August 15.

The operation was jointly conducted by the forces from Coast Guard Station Zamboanga, Bureau of Customs (BOC), Philippine Ports Authority (PPA), and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

The Zamboanga Coast guard, in a report said they  received information that an oceanic container van from Tawi-tawi is carrying endangered aquatic products allegedly bound to Manila.

The team immediately made a port entrance check point and intercepted the said container van.

Total of 15 sacks of  seahorses were confiscated by the team and were later turned over to the BOC and BFAR for documentation and proper disposition.

The consignee identified as Mr. Ramon D Sayson was invited to the Maritime Group for further investigation.

A kilo of dried seahorseis sold at  (Hippocampus) packed in 15 sacks, worth PHP3.6 million, was found mixed with sacks of plastic scraps when the container van was inspected.

The shipment was consigned to one Ramon Sayson with business address at 1026th Baltazar St., Caloocan City.

Sayson, however, denied owning the dried seahorse, claiming he was informed by one of his workers that a certain Tan of Tawi-Tawi has inserted the 15 sacks in his plastic scrap shipment without his knowledge.

Lawyer Lyceo Martinez, Bureau of Customs district collector, said Sayson will still undergo investigation, citing that “being the owner of the 20-footer van shipment, he should be knowledgeable” about it.

Martinez said the dried seahorse was imported from China and is used as “medicine against erectile dysfunction.”

Pedling Munap, BFAR chief regulations officer, said a kilogram of dried seahorse is sold between PHP30,000 and PHP35,000.

Munap said the collection and sale of seahorse is prohibited under Section 97 of Republic Act (RA) No. 8550, otherwise known as “The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998”.

He said it is also in violation of RA 9147 or the “Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act”.-ezc with a report from PNA

 

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