The Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) confiscated 41 stingrays during their wet market inspection at Mandaue City Public Market early morning on Mar. 8.
The stall selling the 44 kilos of prohibited marine species worth P4,400 was owned by Tata de la Cruz from Paknaan, Mandaue City. The confiscated stingrays in different sizes, the biggest measuring 14 inches wide and 16 inches long while the smallest one was 12 inches wide and 11 inches long.
“We conduct operations almost everyday pero iba-iba yung oras (at different hours) to avoid familiarity in our schedules at para masaktuhan talaga namin yung mga violators (and so that we really capture violators),” said Environmental Operation Officer Mar Go.
The operations of the task force are continuing initiatives of the Capitol to protect and promote the conservation of marine life.
With the existing problem of overfishing, including stingrays, for human consumption, the creation of the Provincial Ordinance 2015-21 known as the Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu added stingrays (liput or kiyampaw in local term) in the list of the protected marine species.
The ordinance prohibits the selling and transporting of sharks and rays although marine rays are not yet declared as endangered species, their population is threatened due to the rapid consumption.
Marine rays like manta rays and stingrays are significant in the ecological system as they are defined as a top-level predator that hunts and consumes other animals.