330 kilos of manta ray gill plates from Sri Lanka seizedLocal | 26 Oct 2020 1:04 am
About 330 kilograms of dried manta ray gill pates worth HK$900,000 shipped from Sri Lanka have been seized at the Hong Kong International Airport on October 25.
Customs said the haul was in an air consignment declared as dried fish gills.
Dried gill plates from manta and devil rays, some of the world's most biologically vulnerable fishes, are a valued commodity in Asian dried-seafood and traditional Chinese medicine markets, according to 'Aquatic Conservation: Marine and Freshwater Ecosystems' published by John Wiley & Sons.
Guangzhou is the center of the trade accounting for 99 percent of total estimated market volume of 60.5 tons of dried gill plates in 2011, increasing to 120.5 tons by 2013, the authors say. Vendors recommend gill plates (trade name pengyusai) for ailments ranging from acne to cancer and as a general health tonic.