Cebu City DVMF out to find persons behind stingrays recovered in Pasil

By: Morexette Marie B. Erram February 27,2019 - 06:28 PM

Around 50 kilos of stingray were confiscated at the Pasil Fish Market on Wednesday afternoon, February 27, 2019, by inspectors from the Fishery Division of the Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF). Stingrays, also known as ‘pagi’, are considered ‘protected’ and there’s a move to declare them as endangered. Fishing pagi for consumption is illegal. | PHOTO COURTESY OF DR. ALICE UTLANG

CEBU CITY, Philippines – 50 kilograms of stingrays, or locally known as pagi, were recovered by inspectors from the Cebu City Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) at the Pasil Fish Market on Wednesday afternoon, February 27, 2019.

Doctor Alice Utlang, Cebu City Veterinarian and chief of DVMF, said the common stingrays were still fresh when officers from DVMF’s Fishery Division conducted a random inspection at the Pasil Fish Market, which is a notorious site for illegal trade of wildlife meat and dishes.

They found the stingrays inside an abandoned styrofoam box. They, however, could not find the owner of the box.

“The stingrays (placed inside a styrofoam box) were still fresh but it was abandoned since nobody in the area is claiming it,” Utlang told Cebu Daily News Digital in a message over Facebook Messenger.

DVMF is now conducting a follow-up operation to find the persons behind the recovered box of stingrays.

She said they believed that the stingrays were taken from the seas around Bantayan Island in northern Cebu.

Utlang said each stingray costs around P100 to P120 per kilo.

“One of our team [members] found out that a man attempted to transport it on a trisikad but the box fell, and the contents were spilled on the street. The trisikad immediately fled from the scene, knowing that they too will be arrested [if they are caught],” Utlang said.

The recovered stingrays will be buried within DVMF’s compound at the North Reclamation Area.

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Utlang said stingrays are considered “protected” but there is a move to declare them as endangered species.

There is also an executive order (EO), and a city ordinance that bans the selling, distribution, and consumption of rays, sharks, and other endangered marine creatures.

EO No. 12 or the “Shark and Ray Protection Order,” signed by Cebu City Mayor Tomas Osmeña, prohibits fishers and vendors from catching and selling sharks, rays and chimaeras species within the city.

READ MOREEdu Rama mulls ordinance to protect sharks and rays

The council also passed an ordinance in 2018 that mandates the Cebu City Bantay Dagat Commission, in coordination with other law enforcement agencies, to apprehend those found killing, buying, or selling sharks and rays. /bmjo

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TAGS: Cebu City DVMF, Dr. Alice Utlang, illegal fishing, Pasil Fish Market, Shark and Ray Protection Order, sharks, Stingrays

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