MANILA, Philippines – Boxes containing elvers (young eel) were prevented from being imported to Taiwan at the Ninoy Aquino International Airport, authorities said on Monday.
The eels were bound for Kaoshiung, Taiwan, according to Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) director Asis Perez.
The eels, considered a delicacy in China, were stored in plastic bags filled with water and placed in 13 boxes. The items were worth P750,000.
Bureau of Customs Commissioner Ruffy Biazon said the agency has yet to determine the consignee of the illegal items.
Under BFAR Administrative Order 242, which was issued last May, the importation of eels is considered illegal after authorities observed an excessive, widespread and unceasing exploitation of elvers.
The administrative order carries a penalty of eight years imprisonment, confiscation of catch or a fine equivalent to double the export value of the same, and revocation of fishing and/or export permit.
Last June, Philippine quarantine officials discovered some two million baby eels hidden at the airport thought to be destined for Hong Kong.