Man Illegally Imports 202,000 Pounds of Tuna, Pays $17,500 Fine

The Yellowfin tuna was brought into the Bay Area from the Philippines.

A Daly City fish importing business owner has been fined $17,500 for illegally importing more than 202,000 pounds of tuna from the Philippines, according to San Mateo County District Attorney Steve Wagstaffe.

Caesar Ruivivar, owner of Blue H2O Seafood, was found to have operated without a commercial fish importing license between Jan. 1, 2011, to Nov. 30, 2011, and Jan. 1, 2012, to Jan. 25, 2012, according to the district attorney's office.

Investigators from the California Department of Fish and Game, which is responsible for administering fish importer licenses, alleged that Ruivivar imported 1,688 Yellowfin tuna caught in the Philippines while operating without a proper license.

The fish weighed about 202,500 pounds and was sold to various seafood wholesalers, according to the district attorney's office.

A San Mateo County Superior Court judge ordered Ruivivar to pay $17,500 in fines Monday for licensing violations and to comply with all importing laws.

"I don't know if the penalties imposed were the maximum allowed under the statutes involved," said Wagstaffe, deferring to a deputy district attorney who was unavailable for comment at this article's deadline. "For what occurred here, the sanction, seemingly, should be much heavier. But I suspect that we were somewhat limited by statutory limits."

According to the website Manta, "Blue H2O Seafood in Daly City, CA is a private company which is listed under seafoods. Current estimates show this company has an annual revenue of $140,000 and employs a staff of 2."

Blue H2O Seafood is housed at 154 Eastmoor Avenue. Manta lists its primary products as Alaskan seafood and Sushi selections.

-Bay City News contributed to this report

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