DENR issues warning against eating pawikan meat
THE Department of Environment and Natural Resources in Central Visayas (DENR-7) issued a warning yesterday to those who indulge in the exotic “pawikan larang” or sea turtle stew.
Eddie Llamedo, spokesman of DENR-7, said those caught eating or selling the dish may face two years of imprisonment and made to pay a fine of P200,000.
The DENR-7 issued this warning in light of the recent confiscation of pawikan meat that was about to be sold in Barangay Pasil, Cebu City.
“Kung wala nay patron, wala nay mokaon. Wala na pud manakop (If there will be no patrons, there will be no one to eat it. No one would also bother to catch it),” Llamedo told reporters during the Association of Government Information Officers in Central Visayas (AGIO-7) Forum yesterday.
A kilo of pawikan meat fetches a price of P300 to P400, according to Llamedo. The pawikan meat is then cooked into a stew or pawikan larang in Barangay Pasil where a single serving can be had at P60 to P80.
The DENR has admitted that, so far, no one has been caught and charged for consuming pawikan meat.
To discourage the practice, they have enlisted the aid of barangay officials who will hopefully persuade their constituents to stop eating the exotic dish.
At least eight kilos of pawikan or sea turtle meat were confiscated during the joint operation of the DENR-7, maritime police and the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) last week. This was the third such seizure of pawikan meat this year.
Llamedo said they confiscated the already sliced turtle meat on board a motorized boat that came from Talibon town in Bohol province.
Meanwhile, the DENR is preparing to file a case against the motorized boat owner and operator as the fisherman on board at the time of the apprehension has not revealed the name of the meat’s buyer.
Under Republic Act 9147 or the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, a stiffer penalty of four to six years of imprisonment as well as a fine of P500,000 awaits the person who slaughters a pawikan.
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