CEBU CITY-Authorities seized at least 19 kilograms of thresher shark meat being sold along the highway in Asturias town, 55.3 kilometers northwest of this city.
Loy Madrigal, head of Cebu Provincial Anti-Illegal Fishing Task Force, said members of the task force seized the shark meat around 2 p.m. on Wednesday from a vendor in the village of Tubigmanok.
Madrigal said members of the task force happened to pass by the area after an operation in San Remigio town and recognised the distinct white meat being sold by Seme Diblosan, a resident of Tubigmanok.
Madrigal said that when asked, Diblosan pointed to a fisherman in another village, Labangon, as the source of the shark meat. Diblosan, according to Madrigal, was told to sell the shark meat for P40 per kilogram.
The shark, the vendor claimed, was accidentally caught by the fisherman when it got entangled in his fishing net.
Members of the task force seized a total of 19 kg of the shark meat, which was worth P760. Diblosan was warned against selling shark meat again.
The municipal waters of Asturias is in the Tañon Strait Protected Seascape, a migration route of whale sharks, thresher sharks, endangered sea turtles and dolphins.
An ordinance in Cebu has banned the capture and sale of thresher sharks as well as whale sharks, manta rays and sunfish.
To help in raising awareness of sharks and against eating shark meat, a mural was painted on the wall of St. Joseph's Academy in front of City Hall in Mandaue City, Cebu, in celebration of International Shark Week.