The Cebu City Bantay Dagat Commission (CCBDC) intercepted an Elf truck carrying around 2,000 kilos of blasted fish yesterday dawn.
Most of the fish were bigeye trevally or locally known as “mamsa.”
The blasted fish valued at P280,000 came all the way from Zamboanga City and made its way to Cebu City through the ports in Dapitan, Dumaguete and Santander.
Based on the documents, the cargo was owned by Zaopi Alludin and Nash Edris.
CCBDC Executive Director Michael Guerra said they conducted an operation near the Pasil Fish Market starting past 1 a.m. yesterday. They apprehended one Elf truck but found no traces of blasted fish. By around 2:15 a.m., they apprehended the second Elf truck that contained the blasted fish.
He said a fish examiner from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) got a sample from the cargo and confirmed that it was dynamited fish.
The cargo was supposed to be delivered to brokers at the Pasil Fish Market who even visited them yesterday after learning of the confiscation. But Guerra explained that the recipients could not be implicated in the case since they said they merely ordered from Zamboanga and that they did not know if it was blasted fish or not.
The fish was supposed to be sold at P140 to P180 per kilo.
The confiscated fish were delivered to some charitable institutions yesterday afternoon. The bulk of the fish were given to the city-owned and managed Operation Second Chance Center. Some were also given to the Parian Drop-in Center, the Community Scouts Center, and the Asilo dela Milagrosa.
Guerra said they will be filing a case against Alludin and Edris for violation of Section 92 of Republic Act No. 10654 or the Philippine Fisheries Code of 1998. This provision prohibits the catching of fish through explosives or poisonous substance.
Penalties include fines ranging from P30,000 to P3 million and an imprisonment of five to 10 years.
This is still the third time that the newly reconvened CCBDC conducted an operation against illegally caught fish.
Last July 21, they confiscated equipment from some fishermen who were using fine nets.
Last July 13, they apprehended 67 boxes of dynamited fish worth P300,000. Guerra said it was also from Zamboanga City. They also filed a case on this incident although it was against the driver since there were no documents that would help them trace the owner or source.
According to Guerra, they will be conducting more operations to prevent the entry of blasted fish into the city’s markets.