LEGAZPI City -- The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 5 seized two truck haulers loaded with some 10 metric tons of imported frozen fish worth P800,000 at the Legazpi Port here when the truck crew were unable to present health certificate and transport permit for the said shipment.
BFAR spokesperson and fisheries expert Nonie Enolva said that the imported fish consisted of frozen “timon-timon” (moonfish), “tulingan” (tuna), mackerel, “sibubog” and “galunggong” (herling), reportedly coming from the Malabon Fish Port which were actually imported from other Asian countries.
Only importation documents were presented by the trucks’ crew. One of the trucks belongs to a certain Lenie Aquino, a big-time fish dealer from Sorsogon, while another truck is owned by a certain “Nelie”, a fish trader from Camarines Norte.
With the country now joining the import liberalization policy of Asian countries, more imported fish are coming into the country.
Enolva, however, said that BFAR has to check if the imported fish are fit for human consumption as reports said that some traders mixed them with locally caught or freshly harvested ones.
Lack of health and transport permit for imported fish is a violation of Fisheries Administrative Order 192, which stipulates a penalty of P5,000 and eight-year imprisonment, she added.