Latest Stories

Sold for meat, manta ray seized in Pasil fish market


Blame it on a high demand for non-meat dishes on Holy Week and illegal hunters.

A 60-kilo manta ray was confiscated yesterday from a stall in Pasil market in barangay Suba, Cebu City.

Illegal fishers, who  hunt the protected species in seas between Bohol and Cebu, tried to slip the large manta ray in Cebu City’s biggest fish market.

It was already cut up in three parts and encased in plastic when it was put on display.

“We were waiting for the owner to arrive but no one came to claim it. The stall owner said the fish was just placed there,” said Maria Merlyn Catipay, OIC of the fisheries division of the Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries.

At first glance, the pectoral fins looked like the ordinary tail of a fish displayed without its head.

The manta ray was spotted by a roving inspector of the DVMF.

The stall owner told Catipay he knew the animal was a protected species and left it unwrapped.

The manta ray is considered a “vulnerable” species in the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN) red list of threatened species.

Just this month in Bangkok, Thailand, the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) agreed to increase protection of manta rays along with four other commercially exploited species of sharks.

Manta rays are now in the CITES II list which means there is increased protection allowing legal and sustainable trade.

Under Republic Act 8550 or the Philippine Fisheries Code, it is unlawful to hunt, kill or sell rare, threatened or endangered species listed in the CITES list. Violators face a P120,000 fine or prison term of 12 to 20 years.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) prohibits taking, selling, purchasing, possessing, transporting and exporting manta rays and whale sharks. A fine of P500 to P5,000 and imprisonment for six months to four years or both will be imposed on the violator.

Catipay said the manta ray may have been caught in the seas off  Bohol where manta ray hunting has long been recorded in Pamilacan Island.

Pasil port where fishing vessels dock is being monitored as an entry point of illegal marine products, said DVMF chief Alice Utlang.

“That is why our team is roving the port and inspecting the meat being sold in the market,” Utlang said.

The other week, Cebu Daily News reported a carenderia in Pasil that serves stew made of sea turtles or pawikan, an endangered species.

Like the manta ray, which is served as “larang”, the exotic soup is a delicacy that draws people from all walks of life to the Pasil fish market.

Utlang said the illegal trade of endangered species exists but she doesn’t consider it rampant.

“They thought that since it’s a holiday today our inspectors would not be there.  That’s why they tried to sell this manta ray,”Utlang said.

After CDN reported about the Pasil carenderia selling pawikan stew, the eatery stopped serving the dish and the owner hasn’t been seen around, said Utlang.

The confiscated manta ray will be buried in the grounds of the DVMF office at the North Reclamation Area in Cebu City.

Usually law enforcers who confiscate fresh fish from vendors during anti-illegal fishing operations donate the seized goods to the city jail or charity organizations.

But the seized manta ray will not be fed to beneficiaries.

“We respect that these are endangered species. We don’t want this to be fed to animals in the Cebu City zoo,” Utlang said.

Follow Us

Follow us on Facebook Follow on Twitter Follow on Twitter

Recent Stories:

Complete stories on our Digital Edition newsstand for tablets, netbooks and mobile phones; 14-issue free trial. About to step out? Get breaking alerts on your mobile.phone. Text ON INQ BREAKING to 4467, for Globe, Smart and Sun subscribers in the Philippines.

Tags: Animals , endangered species , Fish , manta-ray

Copyright © 2014, .
To subscribe to the Philippine Daily Inquirer newspaper in the Philippines, call +63 2 896-6000 for Metro Manila and Metro Cebu or email your subscription request here.
Factual errors? Contact the Philippine Daily Inquirer's day desk. Believe this article violates journalistic ethics? Contact the Inquirer's Reader's Advocate. Or write The Readers' Advocate:
c/o Philippine Daily Inquirer Chino Roces Avenue corner Yague and Mascardo Streets, Makati City, Metro Manila, Philippines Or fax nos. +63 2 8974793 to 94
  1. Napoles spills beans on Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – De Lima
  2. Opinions split on Napoles turning state witness
  3. Delfin Lee: Blame Pag-Ibig, not me
  4. Plunder complaint filed vs PNP chief, firearms office head over license delivery deal
  5. Cedric Lee’s cohort flies out of PH despite look-out order – De Lima
  6. San Juan cops fail to arrest Cedric Lee
  7. More ‘Yolanda’ bodies found
  8. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  9. Lawyer: Napoles ‘will tell all’
  10. Boy ‘sexually assaulted’ at Indonesia international school
  1. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  2. Estrada: Gigi Reyes won’t testify vs JPE
  3. Gigi Reyes pins blame on aide
  4. More legal woes for Cedric Lee
  5. Enrile chief aide back in PH ‘to face charges’
  6. Bernice Lee arrested by NBI team
  7. ‘No real progress in PH if dynasties not dismantled’
  8. Suspect in Vhong Navarro’s mauling wants to turn state witness – De Lima
  9. Henares on Pacquiao bashing: I did not start this
  10. ‘Mom, I love you,’ says text from student on sinking ferry
  1. KL confirms Malaysian Airlines Flight MH370 ended in Indian Ocean
  2. MRT passengers pass the hat for 6-year-old Ashley
  3. Rookie, lady cops lauded for quick response to MOA heist
  4. Malaysia averts another air tragedy; pilot lands troubled plane safely
  5. Revilla says he was joking; Lacson stands by his story
  6. Revilla ‘consulted’ Lacson on how he evaded arrest
  7. Cudia, dismissed for lying, got 99% in conduct
  8. Kim Henares needs a reprimand, says Cayetano
  9. Hammer-wielding robbers cause chaos at Philippines’ Mall of Asia
  10. Ex-PBA player Bryan Gahol dies in road mishap


  • Napoles tags over 100 officials in pork scam – Lacson
  • Vitangcol to sue Czech envoy
  • Senator’s kickback from pork bigger than those of Enrile, Estrada, Revilla – Lacson
  • 43 out of 414 Etihad passengers yet to be found, tested for MERS-CoV – Palace
  • Maid confesses in killing of 2 and stabbing of employer in Laguna
  • Sports

  • Caguioa blasts ‘no heart, soft’ Ginebra on Twitter
  • San Mig Coffee grinds out win over Alaska to force decider
  • UP nips St. Benilde; Adamson blasts RTU in Filoil women’s caging
  • Kevin Garnett responds to Raptors’ GM F word
  • Albert Pujols hits 500th HR of major league career
  • Lifestyle

  • Entering the monkhood a rite of passage
  • Haneda International Airport: A destination on its own
  • Wanted: Beauty queen with a heart that beats for the environment
  • Kim Atienza: At home with art and design
  • Life lessons I want to teach my son
  • Entertainment

  • Bollywood Oscars, film stars come to Florida
  • Ex-Fox exec denies allegations in sex abuse suit
  • Kris Aquino backtracks, says Herbert Bautista and her are ‘best friends’
  • Summer preview: Chris Pratt enters a new ‘Galaxy’
  • Bon Jovi helps open low-income housing in US
  • Business

  • SM to rebuild Tacloban hospital
  • PSEi slips after 4-day rally
  • Toyota sells 2.58 million vehicles, outselling GM
  • McDonald’s 1Q profit slips as US sales decline
  • SEC approves SM’s P15B retail bond offer
  • Technology

  • ‘Unlimited’ Internet promos not really limitless; lawmakers call for probe
  • Viber releases new design for iPhone, comes to Blackberry 10 for the first time
  • Engineers create a world of difference
  • Bam Aquino becomes Master Splinter’s son after Wiki hack
  • Mark Caguioa lambasts Ginebra teammates on Twitter
  • Opinion

  • One-dimensional diplomacy: A cost-benefit analysis of Manila’s security deal with Washington
  • No ordinary illness
  • Reforest mountains with fire trees and their kind
  • Day of the Earth
  • When will Chinese firm deliver new coaches?
  • Global Nation

  • Filipinos coming home from Mideast must obtain MERS clearance – DOH
  • US Secret Service in Manila ahead of Obama visit
  • Palace thanks Estrada for successful HK mission
  • Hong Kong accepts PH apology; sanctions also lifted
  • China won’t budge, wants PH gov’t to apologize to HK
  • Marketplace