MANILA, Philippines – Live corals bound for Japan were seized by the the Bureau of Customs (BOC) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) from a warehouse in Parañaque City on Thursday.
Around 149 pieces of live corals were found concealed underneath boxes of live tropical aquarium fishes last July 12 at around 7 p.m. at the Miascor Cargo warehouse in Parañaque.
BFAR Director Atty. Asis G. Perez said that while shipping live fishes is not illegal, export of corals, whether live or dead, is prohibited.
The shipment of 33 boxes weighing 631 kilos was scheduled to depart for Fukuoka, Japan via Aseana Airlines flight OZ704 10 p.m. Thursday, authorities said.
Fisheries Quarantine Officer Ben Curativo identified the shipper as Seri International Enterprises of 857 Santiago St., Gatchalian Subdivision, Manuyo II in Las Piñas. The consignee is Media Net Corporation, 2-1-7 Nishi Takasu, Wakamatsu-Ku in Japan.
Those caught exporting corals may face imprisonment from six months to two years and a fine from P2,000.00 to P20,000.00.
According to Republic Act 8550, seized corals shall either be returned to the sea or donated to schools and museums for educational and scientific purposes or disposed through other means.