Authorities recently seized eight sacks of sea sponge brought from the south at the police checkpoint in Barangay Irawan for lack of proper wildlife permits issued by the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD).
A joint enforcement team of the Palawan Council for Sustainable Development (PCSD) and City Police confiscated the wildlife items from a certain Rizalina De Juan, a resident of Roxas town.
The owner of the shipment was also arrested Wednesday at the San Jose Terminal in Puerto Princesa City.
PCSD Staff Spokesperson Jovic Fabello said the transport of wildlife are not allowed without a permit being issued by the PCSD. Fabello said the suspect, who had posted bail folowing her arrest, will be charged for violating the Republic Act 9147, otherwise known as Wildlife Resources Conservation and Protection Act.
Marine scientists have said that sea sponges are effective filter feeders since they are able to capture and eat particles as small as bacteria as well as much larger particles.
Fabello said sea sponges also serve as food to fishes and sea turtles. He admitted they have yet to identify its specific species and conservation status.