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Cebu News

Amended ordinance bans catching, selling sharks

The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The Cebu Provincial Board yesterday approved on third and final reading the amendments of the province’s Fisheries Code, which include, among others, the total prohibition of shark species and their meat from being caught, possessed, sold or traded for commercial purposes.

The ordinance defines sharks as “all cartilaginous fishes of the class Chondrichthyes generally divided into two distinct groups that include the true sharks and the flat sharks or batoids under subclass Elasmobranchii, and the silversharks or chimaeras under the subclass

Holocephali.”

The amended ordinance states it is now illegal not only to fish, possess or sell of any shark species, but also to possess or trade any shark meat or organs.

However, the provision “shall not apply” if there is a special permit from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and the Office of the Governor to a person or group of persons who are caught in possession of the prohibited sharks will use them for scientific or educational purposes.

Individuals caught violating this specific provision will be fined.

The newly amended Fisheries Code also prohibits the collection, harvesting and gathering for commercial purposes, selling and/or exporting of brown algae and seagrass.

It is “unlawful for any persons either natural or juridical” to collect, harvest and gather for commercial purposes, sell, and export these marine products.

However, those with special permit for scientific or educational purposes “and those permit holders in processing fertilizer for fruit and crop vegetation” are allowed to collect them.

Penalty for this provision is a P3,000 fine per violator and P1,000 per kilogram of the mentioned prohibited products as administrative fine.

Meanwhile, confiscated products can be turned over to an academic research facility, be buried or if these are meat products, they can be donated to government or private facility like jails; or if alive, to the wildlife or animal rescue centers.

The amendments were crafted and sponsored by Board Member Thadeo Ouano, chairman of the Board’s committee on environment.  (FREEMAN)

ACIRC

BOARD MEMBER THADEO OUANO

BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES AND THE OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR

CEBU PROVINCIAL BOARD

CHONDRICHTHYES

ELASMOBRANCHII

FISHERIES CODE

HOLOCEPHALI

PRODUCTS

PURPOSES

SHARKS

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