June 3 (Bloomberg) -- The Philippines’ Bureau of Customs filed a smuggling complaint against several individuals for alleged attempted smuggling of ilegally-harvested black corals and other endangered marine species worth 35 million pesos ($810,000), Commissioner Angelito Alvarez said in a press briefing today.
Two container vans from a province in the south were intercepted in Manila in early May, loaded with 21,169 pieces of black corals, 163 stuffed hawkbills and green turtles and other marine species, Alvarez said.
Poachers may have decimated an entire reef complex almost twice as big as the Philippine capital when it harvested the black corals, Philippine Daily Inquirer reported on May 25, citing marine biologist Ludivina Labe of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources. Almost a fourth of the world’s ocean fish live in coral reefs.
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