Task force warns shark traders: Any shark species to be prohibited soon

The Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) warned traders that fishing of all kinds of sharks will soon be prohibited in Cebu.

Capitol Security Chief Loy Anthony Madrigal said the provincial board already approved on second reading the amendment of Provincial Ordinance No. 2012-5 or “The Provincial Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu.”

The amendment seeks to address its own loopholes particularly the transportation of seaweeds without legal documents from other provinces to Cebu.

For the trading of shark meats, it also inserted in subsection l.-2 in section 10 (l), which reads:

“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 specie for scientific and/or educational purposes. In case of violation of this provision, the Province of Cebu may impose an administrative fine based on the administrative fine stated in letter l.”

The final reading of the proposed amendment is scheduled on Sept.1. Further amendments or plenary discussion on the proposed ordinance is not a matter of course.

Madrigal supported the ordinances saying it added value to the province, which is promoted as a tourist destination because of the diverse kinds of sharks that frequented here.

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

Madrigal is a team leader of the CPAIFTF enforcement team, which flagged down a container van in Mandaue City that carried 200 sacks or 5,000 kilos of dried shark fins.

The shipment, which allegedly imported from Spain, is dried in Cebu and transported again to Hong Kong, according to the representative of Shell Haven Fashion International.

click image to enlarge

Madrigal said he was given information by the concerned residents of the shark fins being dried in Lapu-lapu City. They believed that it could be endangered species. The nearby residents also complained of foul smell identified with the dried shark fins.

But after presenting import and export permits, the shark fins were released.

Randolf Corrales, agri-techonologist of BFAR 7’s Fishery Quarantine Service certified that the shark fins were not thresher sharks which are protected under Ordinance 2012-05 or the Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Ordinance of Cebu. Corrales said the fins were from blue sharks.

Corrales also revealed that Shell Haven is one of the two companies in Cebu that are authorized to export and import unprotected shark species.