Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources – Region 7 burned over P1 million worth of dried seahorses it confiscated in Cebu.
The Office of Transportation Security staff at Mactan Cebu International Airport and the Bureau of Customs made the disposal.
Fifty-nine kilograms of dried seahorses worth P1.7 million were burned.
Authorities seized the dried seahorses in three separate incidents in 2019.
Based on the local market prices, seahorse sells for P30,000 per kilogram.
Foreigner passengers have several times attempted to smuggle dried seahorses from Cebu Airport to Macau.
Chinese uses dried seahorses as part of their traditional medicine.
3 Chinese nationals attempt to smuggle dried seahorses from Cebu Airport
In October 2019, authorities intercepted three Chinese nationals who tried to smuggle 32 kilos of an endangered dried sea horse from Mactan Cebu International Airport, Cebu city.
According to the Bureau of Customs Cebu Facebook page, Transnational Aviation Support Services Inc. (TASSI), Bureau of Customs, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), and Counter-Terrorist Unit (CTU) officials confiscated the dried sea horse from the Chinese nationals who were bound for Macau.
Customs Intelligence and Investigation Services (CIIS) representative Ferdinand Laraga, acting Customs examiner Divina Arreglo, and Customs Enforcement, Enrico Tamayo of Customs Enforcement, and Security Services, and representatives from CTU, and TASSI conducted the physical examination in the presence of BFAR-7 fishery quarantine officer Alexander Montuya.
The government officers confiscated the dried sea horses for violation of Republic Act No. 8550 (The Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998), Fisheries Administrative Order (FAO) No. 233, and Republic Act No. 10654 (An Act to Prevent, Deter and Eliminate Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing).
Seahorses were considered as endangered species in the country.