Endangered sea shells seized in Bantayan

·2 min read

THE local government of Bantayan has seized more than P300,000 worth of endangered sea shells in Sitio Tabunok, Barangay Lipayran, the municipality announced last Friday, Oct. 29, 2021.

In an operation conducted on Thursday by the Maritime Law Enforcement Team, Bantay Dagat and Municipal Agriculturist-Fisheries Office, a total of 735 helmet shells or “budyong” were found inside 48 sacks abandoned by the shore.

The shells were estimated to be worth P365,000.

Possession, sale and transport of the rare shells, considered endangered species, are prohibited.

The town reminded shell lovers that if they take rare, threatened or endangered species, they face a fine of P500,000 to P5 million and jail time of 12 to 20 years under Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code.

Mayor Arthur Despi said all fishing activities must comply with regulations.

This is not the first time endangered shells have been intercepted in Cebu.

In June 2014, SunStar Cebu reported that the Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force (CPAIFTF) seized 30,000 shells worth P2 million from a 40-footer van intercepted in Minglanilla town, Cebu.

The shipment consisted of endangered Cassis Cornuta or horned helmet shells and Charonia tritonis or trumpet shells.

Once processed and exported, the shells command higher prices abroad.

The following month, the CPAIFTF seized endangered shells again, this time contained in 200 sacks, from a warehouse in Talisay City, Cebu.

The sacks contained six types of shells: helmet, smudged moon scallop, smooth top shell, bullmouth helmet, white-toothed cowrie and prince cowrie.

In 2016, Task Force Kalikasan of Lapu-Lapu City also seized 550 helmet shells spotted on the shore in Barangay Punta Engaño.

Last July, Lapu-Lapu authorities, in coordination with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, confiscated over 3,000 helmet shells, among other banned fishery products, in the same barangay. (CTL)

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting