Two Inabanga fishermen now face charges for violating Republic Act 9147, otherwise known as the Wildlife Conservation and Protection Act, as they were caught in possession of 10 kilos of sea turtle meat last week.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) 7 nabbed the suspects at a fish port in Pasil, Cebu City.
Director of DENR 7 Isabelo Montejo said in interview with DYRD Balita that the two fisherman identified as Narciosa Cabiso and Demitrio Humawas were about to sell the meat at the Pasil Fish Port.
The illegal sale of sea turtle meat is a big business in the area, he added.
Illegal possession and the killing of critically endangered species such as hawksbill turtles or â€œpawikanâ€ is strictly prohibited.
Violators will be imprisoned for a minimum time of five years and will be fined P500,000 to P1 million.
Montejo said that this is not the first time that the DENR 7 was able to apprehend suspects who were also intending to sell sea turtle meat.
After the incident, the department will intensify its surveillance as the authorities believe that more people will attempt to engage in such illegal sale particularly from the various island municipalities in the province of Bohol. (with reports from Allen Doydora)