Ban covers “all shark species”

Michael Vencynth H. Braga, NSA (The Freeman) - August 31, 2014 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines - There would be no more excuses for shark traders as the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force has warned that fishing and transporting of all species of sharks will soon be prohibited in Cebu.

Task force head Loy Anthony Madrigal said that the scope of the existing Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu will be widened by introducing amendment to it.

“It shall be unlawful to fish or take, possess, transport, deal in, sell or in any manner dispose of any shark species. However, such prohibition shall not apply if the person, association or corporation can prove that they have been granted a special permit to fish, take, and possess such shark species for scientific and/or educational purposes,” part of the proposed amendment on the ordinance reads.

The amendment, which is being proposed by Provincial Board member and committee of environment head Thadeo Ouano, is set for third and final reading in the Provincial Board tomorrow.

The Provincial Information Office stated in the Capitol’s website that the amendment seeks to address “loopholes” in the provisions of the existing ordinance.

Madrigal supports the ordinance, saying that the presence of diverse sharks in the province will also invite tourist.

“It would be nice to see that the province of Cebu is shark-friendly,” he said.

During the first Shark Summit in the country held in Cebu on August 14 to 15 this year, it was raised that the prevailing concerns on the protection of sharks include the lack of awareness of people in terms of determining what shark species are on the verge of extinction.

Last week, the task force flagged down a container van loaded with 200 sacks or an estimated P15 million worth of dried shark fins at the Marcelo Fernan Bridge.

This after surveillance was made by Capitol and Lapu-Lapu City task forces, which were tipped off by concerned citizens that the shark fins were being dried in Lapu-Lapu City.

However, the van carrying the shark fins was released later in the day after the owner was able to present documents that the fins were imported from Spain and the drying process was just made here before these are exported to Hong Kong supposedly yesterday.

Randolf Corrales, agri-technologist of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-7’s Fishery Quarantine Service, also certified that the fins belonged to that of blue sharks, species not covered by the provincial ordinance.

Corrales further revealed that Shell Haven Fashion International, owner of the shark fins, is a legitimate firm to export and import unprotected shark species.  (FREEMAN)

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES CAPITOL AND LAPU-LAPU CITY CEBU CEBU PROVINCIAL ANTI-ILLEGAL FISHING TASK FORCE FISHERY QUARANTINE SERVICE HONG KONG LAPU-LAPU CITY LOY ANTHONY MADRIGAL PROVINCIAL BOARD SHARK
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