ZAMBOANGA CITY: Authorities have seized thousands of various seashells in the port of Zamboanga City, officials said on Friday. Officials said the shipment was seized during an inspection from the ferry Magnolia Liliflora, which came from Tawi-Tawi province. But the shells had been picked from the island of Siasi, according to Police Officer 3 Catherine Cabrera. Among those confiscated from the boat were turtle scales. It was not immediately known who owns the shipment, but it was the second time in barely two weeks that authorities seized seashells here. On June 18, more than 700 pieces of helmet shells or locally known as “budyong” were confiscated from the ferry Kristel Jane. Seashells are commonly used as fashion accessories and for home decorations among others, but gathering and selling of these are prohibited under Philippine laws. There are dozens of types of seashells in the country which are considered rare, threatened and endangered and the penalty for violating the laws is imprisonment from 12 years to 25 years and a fine of up to P120,000.


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