By: Nonoy E Lacson
Tempo, Friday, 12 November 2010
ZAMBOANGA CITY - Some P1.4 million worth of banned shells was intercepted at a local wharf here by operatives of the Naval Forces Western Mindanao (NFWM).
Commodore Orwen Cortez, NFWM commander, said the shipment of the Trocas shells was intercepted by his men around 1 a.m. Wednesday at a private wharf in Barangay Baliwasan in this city.
He said the shipment was seized after concerned citizen informed his command on the arrival in this city of the banned shell aboard a motor launch coming from Palawan.
Cortez said the Trocas shells packed in 70 sacks with an estimated volume of 9,100 kilos were
found inside M/L Kimberbie.
Trocas shells can only be found in Tubbataha, Palawan, which has been declared as one of the protected areas in the country. The national government has banned the gathering of Trocas shell as it is listed as one of the endangered marine species.
"This type of shell has ornamental value. It is used for making buttons for high-end clothing," Cortez said.
Violators of the ban face 12 to 20 years of imprisonment with corresponding fines.
The confiscated Trocas shells would be turned over to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) for appropriate action while NFWM would pursue charges against the owner of M/L Kimberbie.