MANILA, Philippines - Some P20 million worth of black corals and turtles were seized today by the Bureau of Customs from two 20-foot container vans at the Eva Macapagal Domestic Terminal in Manila.
Customs Deputy Commissioner for Enforcement Horacio Suansing said the shipment came from Cotabato and was misdeclared as rubber by a certain Exequiel Navarro.
The shipment also included "sea fans", a species of hard, stony corals.
Suansing said the collection and harvesting of this coral is prohibited as it is listed in the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES) as threatened and endangered.
According to the Bureau of Customs, the illegal trade in corals is being fueled by the demand of multi billion dollar marine ornamental industry for exotic decorative species and increasing popularity of coral-accented jewelry and other accessories. The shipment will be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources and Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
Information taken from http://www.abs-cbnnews.com/