BFAR 7 Authorities Burned Dried Seahorses Seized In 2019
BFAR 7 – Authorities from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR 7) recently burned the dried seahorse seized in the year 2019.
According to SunStar, the dried seahorses that was seized in three set operations in 2019 worth at about ₱1.7 million. In one operation, the officials caught 2 Chinese nationals, who were about a flight bound for Macau carrying the seahorses.
This is a direct violation of the Republic Act (RA) No. 9147, also known as the Wildlife Resources Conservation Act, which bans the killing and trading of endangered species.
The dried seahorses destroyed by the bureau on January 9, 2020 weighed at about 59 kilos. A kilo of dried horse is said to worth at about ₱30,000. Among those who joined in the operation was the personnel of the Office for Transportation of the Mactan-Cebu International Airport and the Bureau of Customs.
Based on the report, International Union for Conservation of Nature listed nine seahorse species that are considered vulnerable and one endangered.
“Aquarium trade and use for traditional Chinese medicine are the two main uses of a seahorse. At least 77 countries are involved in the trade, making international regulations necessary to ensure the protection of seahorses,”
The International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development (ITCSD), who made the statement above, also reported in its website that seahorses became the first commercially valuable marine genus to be protected under the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES), which was in 2004.
CITES’ regulations for seahorses were greenlit in November 2002 but was delayed for 18 months in order to allow countries time to put enforcement policies in place.
The 2 Chinese nationals, as well as the people involved will be filed by BFAR 7 Director Alfeo Piloton for violating RA No. 9147.
The said nationals, however, were also charged with an administrative complaint and paid a fine of ₱15,000 and flew back to their home country.
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