Black corals, seaweeds seized at Coron Port
MANILA, Philippines — Twenty sacks of illegally harvested seaweeds and black corals were confiscated from a vessel docked in Coron, Palawan, on Tuesday morning, the Philippine Coast Guard said.
Operatives from the PCG station in Coron inspected the MV D’Asean Journey after receiving an intelligence report from PO3 Ferdinand Allan Leogo of Philippine National Police’s Maritime Group unit in Coron about the seaweeds and black corals concealed on board the ferry ship.
The PCG commandant, Admiral Edmund Tan, said that the illegal cargo was discovered and seized in the presence of the ship’s skipper, Renalto Abrina. Investigation later revealed the identities of the shipper as Crizaldy Lagaran of Coron and the consignee as Walimer Mahilum of Manila.
The confiscated items were brought out of the ship and turned over to the police for disposition and the filing of charges against those involved.
Meanwhile, the Coast Guard said big waves due to bad weather had led to the spilling of asphalt from a Chinese ship that has been grounded off Agno, Pangasinan, for the past seven months.
According to the PCG, some 6,000 metric tons of natural bitumen or asphalt washed out from the MV Chang Da 12’s cargo haul after the waves split the ship in two.
The spilled asphalt caused foul odor in the vicinity of the ship and the PCG’s station in Sual, Pangasinan, called on the salvaging operator, Steel Ray Salvaging Services, to begin cleaning up the area.
The Steel Ray, however, said on Tuesday it was still waiting for the approval of the Bureau of Customs in Pangasinan to begin the salvaging operations.
The Chang Da ran aground amid bad weather last December. Authorities found out that the ship had no permit to transport the asphalt and had no insurance, thus delaying the salvaging operations.