PHL stops baby eels being sent to Hong Kong

Monday, July 16th, 2012. Filed under: News

Fisheries Quarantine officer Ben Curativo displays two plastic bags of confiscated elvers (young eels) to photographers at a cargo terminal in Ninoy Aquino International airport in Manila July 8, 2012. Airport authorities confiscated some two million elvers, weighing around 949 kg and amounting to 22,000 pesos ($524) per kilo. The elvers were supposed to be shipped to Hong Kong, local media reported. According to Philippine law fingerlings are not to be exported unless for scientific or education purposes. REUTERS/Cheryl Ravelo

Manila, July 8, 2012 (AFP) – Philippine quarantine officials on Sunday discovered some two million baby eels hidden in freight at Manila airport thought to be destined for Hong Kong restaurants.

The eels were stored in plastic bags filled with water and hidden in 46 boxes, said Ben Curativo, head of Manila airport’s fisheries quarantine division.

The Philippines in May banned the export of elvers, or young eels, after studies showed their numbers were slowly being depleted.

“It was to board an airplane bound for Hong Kong, and we are now tracking down the person behind the shipment,” he told AFP.

“We suspect the eel fry would be grown there and once they reach maturity could be served in restaurants. It is a delicacy.”

After being caught around the Philippines, eels are usually shipped to Manila for export to other Asian countries, where they are considered an exotic cuisine with aphrodisiac qualities.


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