TACLOBAN CITY-A fishing vessel was caught illegally transporting 1,200 kilograms of green mussels or ‘tahong’ on Wednesday (June 9) around 7 am by the personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Coast Guard at the Carigara Bay.
The incident happened as BFAR has reported of the presence of red tide toxin in various bays in the region to include the Carigara Bay.
Report from the BFAR office said that the fishing vessel, whose owner was not identified except to say he was from Villareal, Samar, failed to present a local transport permit from BFR and an auxiliary invoice from the origin of the mussel transported reason why it was stopped seized.
The BFAR said that they have been receiving reports that despite of the ban to collect green mussels and other fishery products in the area due to the presence of the red tide, such activity had been spotted by local residents.
The seized green mussels, valued at around P60,000, were disposed.
The owner of the vessel will be charged for violating Fisheries Administrative Orders (FAOs) 233 and 235 which provides penalty of more than P10,000 and imprisonment of up to one year if proven guilty.
BFAR earlier released its shellfish bulletin No. 16 on May 27, 2021 putting 11 bays and coastal waters in Eastern Visayas under shellfish ban or the prohibition of gathering, transporting and selling of all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or Alamang.
These areas include the Irong-Irong bay (Catbalogan, Samar); San Pedro bay (Basey, Samar); Maqueda bay (Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, San Sebastian, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, Hinabangan, Samar); Carigara Bay (Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Carigara and Capoocan, Leyte); Coastal waters of Calubian, Leyte; Ormoc Bay (Ormoc City, Merida and Albuera, Leyte); Cambatutay Bay (Tarangnan, Samar); Coastal waters of Zumarraga, Samar; Coastal waters of Daram, Samar; Villareal Bay (Villareal, Samar), and; Cancabato Bay (Tacloban City).