Philippines launches suit in reef plunder

Jun 03, 2011
Local dive master Joel Pandino shows coral reef formation in the Verde sea passage
Local dive master Joel Pandino shows coral reef formation in the Verde sea passage, south of Manila in 2007. The Philippines on Friday began legal action against traders accused of plundering corals and marine turtles in a case that officials said may have destroyed large tracts of precious reefs.

The Philippines on Friday began legal action against traders accused of plundering corals and marine turtles in a case that officials said may have destroyed large tracts of precious reefs.

The customs bureau said it filed a complaint, asking the justice department to file against four businessmen it accused of shipping the items to the port of Manila, where they were confiscated last month.

"The Bureau of Customs has lowered the boom on the rapists of the ocean," it said in a statement.

Wildlife police have said they seized 163 stuffed hawksbill and , more than 21,000 pieces of black corals, 7,340 trumpet and helmet shells and 196 kilograms (430 pounds) of sea whips.

The items are all threatened species that cannot be legally gathered, collected, traded or transported, they said.

President Benigno Aquino's government had condemned the environmental plunder and vowed to step up marine patrols to prevent a repeat.

The corals and were apparently stolen from the pristine waters of the Moro Gulf and the Sulu Sea off the main southern island of Mindanao, according to Aquino's spokesman Edwin Lacierda.

Undeer the Philippine fisheries code and a wildlife resources conservation law, their gathering and export are punishable by up to two years in prison.

Explore further: Endangered antelope dying off in vast numbers in Kazakhstan

Related Stories

Endangered turtles no longer turned into souvenirs

Mar 25, 2009

Critically endangered hawksbill turtles are no longer being sold as tourist souvenirs in the Dominican Republic after a powerful government campaign cracked down on shops illegally trading such items. More ...

Rare coral sold for fish tanks

Jan 19, 2008

British customs officials say the rising popularity of home reef aquariums is boosting an illegal trade in endangered live coral from around the world.

Recommended for you

Ecologists develop new method for mapping poaching threats

18 hours ago

Ecologists from the University of York, together with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and the Uganda Wildlife Authority (UWA), have developed a new method to better identify where poachers operate in protected areas.

Serengeti Park disappearing

23 hours ago

A huge wildebeest herd migrates across the open, parched plains. Dust swirls up from the many hooves pounding the ground, and forms a haze over the landscape. The setting sun gives the scene a golden tinge.

User comments : 2

Adjust slider to filter visible comments by rank

Display comments: newest first

Shootist
1 / 5 (2) Jun 03, 2011
may have destroyed large tracts of precious reefs.


Precious. Precious? Precious is what Gollum calls the Ring. Reefs are not 'precious'. Or no more so, than swamp, forest, marsh, bayous, rivers, hills, mountains or tor.

It'll all get whacked by a meteor, subsumed by continental drift, buried by volcanic ash or a glacier, or swallowed by the red giant old Sol will become.
J-n
5 / 5 (1) Jun 03, 2011
t'll all get whacked by a meteor, subsumed by continental drift, buried by volcanic ash or a glacier, or swallowed by the red giant old Sol will become.


More than likely, though, before that happens they will be destroyed by corporations who care little for the health of the planet we live on, and only care for their bottom line.

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.