Shark meat factory owner insists they didn’t violate local law

By: Norman V. Mendoza June 30,2014 - 01:26 AM

The owner of a shark meat processing factory located in sitio Suba Masulog in barangay Suba-basbas, Lapu-Lapu City said he didn’t violate any law by receiving imported gummy shark meat  from Australia.

“We asked the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and there was no problem with it,” said Daniel Walker, owner of H.A. Marine International in an interview.

Lapu-Lapu City Mayor Paz Radaza earlier ordered the City Environment and Natural Resources Office (CENRO) to investigate whether H.A. Marine International was also receiving local  deliveries of shark fins and meat.

Radaza said CENRO is also investigating complaints about a foul smell emanating from the factory.

She said they still have to review the factory’s sanitation protocols, taxes and its business permits to see if they are complying with city ordinances.

“So far there’s no problem with their importation permits and all other documents from BFAR and customs duties based on what they have presented to BFAR-7,” Radaza said.

The mayor said the catching and trade of sharks will soon be banned and she will ask the City Council to pass an ordinance to this effect.

“In the first place, Cebu province has an ordinance banning the trade of Thresher, Hammer Head and Whale Sharks,” Radaza added.

Walker said it’s detrimental to their business if Lapu-Lapu City considers banning the importation of sharks not found in the endangered species list.

Walker said, gummy sharks in Australia can be exported for commercial purposes and its entry in the country is legal. He said gummy shark fins are used as the main ingredient of soups in most Asian countries.

Walker, who’s engaged in commercial fishing in his native Australia, said the factory employs 50 workers or down by half due to low market demand. Walker insisted they have complied with the city’s legal requirements.


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TAGS: BFAR, CENRO, diving, environment, law, shark, shark meat, thresher shark

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