2 face raps for trying to smuggle out endangered marine animals
LEGAZPI CITY – Authorities filed a case Tuesday against two men who were caught at a seaport in Masbate City Saturday, attempting to transport several sacks of endangered marine animal species to Sorsogon, a Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) official said.
Lt. Edgardo Aguilar, PCG Masbate Commander, said his office has filed a case against suspects Erwin Laurio, 32, resident of Barangay (village) Dacu and Joseph Bajar, 19, of Barangay Bacagay, both of Mobo town in Masbate province, at the prosecutor’s office in Masbate province, on Tuesday afternoon. The two are accused of violating Republic Act 10654 or also known as the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998, particularly Section 123 (Possessing, Dealing in or Disposing Illegally Caught or Taken Fish)
The suspects were on board a ship bound for Pilar town in Sorsogon when they were apprehended by PCG personnel on sea patrol, who then found in their possession around 115 kilograms dried marine animals.
Aguilar said in a phone interview that they were able to recover about 52 kilos of dried alligator pipefish (Syngnathoides biaculeatus), a fish included in the family of sea horses.
Also found were 33.5 kilos of sea cucumber (Holothuroidea) and sharks weighing abut 30 kilograms. SFM
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