MORE than 700 pieces of endangered helmet shellfish locally known as “budyong” were seized by the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) inside a roll-on roll-off vessel docked in Port of Zamboanga.
A report reaching the coast guard headquarters in Manila said that Lt. Junior Grade Jomark Angue, station commander of PCG-Zamboanga said that a Vessel Safety Enforcement team, PCG K-9 unit and agents from the Bureau of Aquatic Resources (BFAR) received information that an illegal shipment of the said endangered shells were onboard MV Kristel Jane-3.
The team then inspected the vessel before departure at the Zamboanga port and discovered that there were 30 sacks or 711 pieces of budyong in the vessel’s cargo deck.
The report added that the seized shells, amounting to P900,000, came from Jolo town in Sulu province.
Angue said that based on the initial investigation no one among the passengers appeared to claim ownership of the illegal shipment.
PCG said that helmet shells are being used as decoration while some are being used in carving and production of jewelry specially in wrist watches.
The confiscated items were temporarily brought to Coast Guard Station Zamboanga for safekeeping and it will be turned-over to the representative of the enforcement division of BFAR Regional Office-9.
Fatima Cielo B. Cancel