Coast Guard seizes P5-M shipment of shark parts, butanding tails

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The Philippine Coast Guard confiscates the illegal cargo in Zamboanga City

MANILA, Philippines (Sept. 10, 2016) — The Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) on Friday, September 9 seized around two tons of shark parts from a motor vessel in Zamboanga City. 

The PCG seized two crates containing 38 shark tails, 20 shark fins, and 3 whale shark or butanding tails, according to PCG spokesman Commander Armand Balilo.

The haul is worth P5 million.

The shipment was seized in a Marine Law Enforcement operation after the PCG received information that motor vessel Trisha Kerstin would bring prohibited shark fins from Bongao, Tawi-Tawi, to the port of Zamboanga City.

The ship’s crew, headed by Captain Joel Mendoza, failed to present a Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) permit, which prompted the issuance of a seizure receipt and a certificate of orderly inspection.

Philippine law prohibits the capture, possession, sale, transport, and export of whale sharks – locally known as butanding – an endangered marine species.

Aside from Coast Guard Station Zamboanga, the operation also involved the Field Station in Southwestern Mindanao, BFAR-9, and the City Agriculture Office.

The confiscated shipment was turned over to the custody of BFAR in Zamboanga City for proper disposition.