Pasil vendors insist they don’t sell shark meat
VENDORS in Pasil fish market were adamant that they don’t sell shark meat even before Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña signed the “Shark and Ray Protection Order” last Tuesday.
Melba, a 35-year-old fish vendor in Pasil who declined to give her last name, said she has no problem with the ban on the sale of shark meat.
But she admitted that it would mean extra income for her since shark meat is in demand.
“Duna may daghan nga mokaon unta ana kay larangon man (fish stew) na. Daghan (mamalit) kay ila man nang larangon. Lami man na siya larangon (It would have been okay too to sell it as many patronize shark meat because it’s good when cooked as ‘larang’),” she said.
At P50 per kilo, Melba said shark meat is cheap, which makes it very popular among its patrons.
Agapito Bibat, Philippine Coast Guard-Cebu station commander, said the sale of sharks had long been prohibited by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), but Osmeña’s order would strengthen this initiative.
Anna Oposa of Save Philippine Seas sees the signing as a milestone for pro-shark advocates and their cause.
“It’s a milestone for shark conservationists like me because now, the whole island of Cebu is making a commitment to protect all shark and ray species,” she said.
Oposa is the project director and founder of Shark Shelter Project, which aims to protect thresher sharks and other coastal and marine resources of Daanbantayan, Cebu.
Cebu City Market Authority head Winifredo Miro said their office expects to be furnished a copy of the order this week.
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