Following directives from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources National Director Eduardo B. Gongona to intensify efforts against illegal importation, a team of law enforcers and fisheries inspectors from the DA-BFAR and other concerned agencies conducting market denial operation in Malabon City seized 467 boxes of different species from two dealers of imported fish on November 30, 2020.
Upon inspection, one of the fish dealers was unable to present the necessary importation documents of fish intended for wet markets, including Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Certificate, delivery receipts, and transport clearance, which is a violation of Sec. 105 or unlawful importation and exportation of fish or fishery species of Republic Act (RA) 8550, as amended by RA 10654 and in relation to FAO 195. The importers are not yet identified as of this writing.
Meanwhile, the delivery receipt presented by the second dealer does not match the delivery receipt being issued by the alleged importing company, as per verification with the importer.
Notices of Violation for the filing of administrative cases were already issued to the dealers of imported fish. The seized items, which include boxes of galunggong, mackerel, squid, yellow tail salmon, and moonfish, are kept in a storage facility under the custody of the apprehending team.
Under Sec. 105 of the amended Philippine Fisheries Code, failure on the part of the shipping company from whose possession the fish or fishery species imported are discovered or seized to fully cooperate in the investigation conducted by concerned government authorities shall create a presumption that there is connivance or conspiracy between the shipping company and the shipper to perpetrate the illegal importation.
BFAR – Fisheries Protection and Law Enforcement Group
BFAR – Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit
The Philippines' Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, abbreviated as BFAR, is an agency of the Philippine government under
the Department of Agriculture responsible for the development, improvement, management and conservation of the Philippines'
fisheries and aquatic resources.
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