BFAR: Red tide alert raised in Puerto Princesa, other areas

Aileen Cerrudo   •   October 17, 2019   •   195

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has raised a “red tide” warning in several parts of the country due to reported paralytic shellfish poisoning.

Based on the laboratory results of BFAR, shellfishes collected from the following areas are positive of paralytic shellfish poison:

  1. Puerto Princesa Bay, Puerto Princesa City, Palawan
  2. Coastal Waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City, Bohol
  3. Irong-Irong, San Pedro and Silanga Bays in Western Samar
  4. Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City, Leyte

According to BFAR all types of shellfish gathered in the said areas are not safe to eat.

However, other seafoods like fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe for consumption provided they are fresh and were thoroughly cleaned before cooking.—AAC

Public warned after fish kill hits Las Piñas, Parañaque

Marje Pelayo   •   October 11, 2019

MANILA, Philippines – Tubs of dead fish were collected along the coastal vicinity of Las Piñas and Parañaque, specifically in the ecotourism area of Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA).

Upon reports of the fish kill on Thursday morning (October 10), the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) immediately dispatched a team of fisheries protection and law enforcement group along with technical personnel to collect water samples and investigate the cause of the fish kill.

Following the incident, the DA-BFAR in a statement advised the public not to consume dead fishes collected from the affected area pending the results of the investigation.

The agency is now working closely with the local government unit regarding the proper disposal of the dead fish. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

Fish production improves but corals are dying – BFAR

Marje Pelayo   •   July 10, 2019

Bleached corals in Coron, Palawan

MANILA, Philippines – Data from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported improvements in fish production in the country as compared to the previous years.

In 2018, the country had 4.25 million metric tons of fish which was higher by one percent compared to 2017.

BFAR attributed this positive development to improvements in the country’s aquaculture which increased by three percent from the previous years when fish production was hugely affected by weather disturbances, illegal fishing, water pollution, and stricter implementation of the Fisheries Law.

The disputed waters in the West Philippine Sea contributes 2.34 percent of the country’s total production from provinces in Regions 1, 3, 4A and 4B.

Meanwhile, almost half of the production is contributed by Regions 9, 12 and the Bangsamoro Region, according to BFAR.

Despite this, the Bureau noted that from the 27 thousand hectares of coral areas in the country, only one percent are in good condition.

The agency added that the Philippine government loses P68.5-B every year because of illegal fishing.

Climate change also adds damage to the corals in a phenomenon called coral bleaching.

Sadly, according to BFAR, this phenomenon is expected to persist.

“We will see more coral bleaching. Ibig sabihin yung pagkakamatay ng mga corals dahil tumaas halimbawa yung water temperature o mas na-expose sila ngayon sa sun, (It means the corals are dying because of increasing water temperature as they are more exposed to the heat of the sun),” explained Sammy Malvas, BFAR’s assistant director for admin services.

 Likewise, the agency noted that even the size of fish is now affected.

“Example na lang iyong sardines, maliliit pa naging mature na, (Example sardines, they easily mature but their size remains small), Malvas added.

Doctor Deo Florence Onda of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute said that the West Philippine Sea should all the more be protected because it has a vital role in the region considering that it is the center of biodiversity in the world.

“Isa lang indikasyon noon, kung maraming pumupuntang fishermen doon sa West Philippine Sea, ibig sabihin marami silang napapakinabangan at marami silang nakukuha, (It indicates one thing: More fishermen fish in West Philippines Sea because it is rich in resources and has a lot of fish), Onda said. – with reports from Rey Pelayo

BFAR to equip commercial fishing vessels with monitoring devices

Marje Pelayo   •   July 9, 2019

A Philippine fisherman watches a China Coast Guard vessel patrolling the disputed Scarborough Shoal, April 5, 2017. Picture taken April 5, 2017. REUTERS/Erik De Castro

MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) will install monitoring devices to around 5,000 commercial fishing vessels in the country.

This is in line with the agency’s Integrated Marine Environment Monitoring System Project amounting to P2 billion.

Such monitoring devices will enable the agency to monitor the location of all fishing vessels every time they venture out to sea.

“The system will only tell you that the vessel is there and it will also tell you kung may incident or may accident na nangyari doon (if there is any incident or accident at sea,)” noted Sammy Malvas, BFAR’s Assistant Director for Admin services.

The installation will commence sometime during the last quarter of this year. – with inputs from Rey Pelayo

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