Fish production improves but corals are dying – BFAR
Marje Pelayo • July 10, 2019 • 1127
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
MANILA, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Wednesday issued a red tide warning after shellfishes collected in 12 areas in the country were found positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.
In an advisory, BFAR said that all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the following areas are not safe for human consumption:
Honda and Puerto Princesa Bays in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan
Coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate
Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon
Coastal waters of Daius and Tagbilaran City in Bohol
Tambobo Bay, Siaton in Negros Oriental
Coastal waters of Zumarraga in Western Samar
Coastal waters of Calubian, Leyte, and Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City in Leyte
Coastal waters of Biliran Islands
Coastal waters of Guiuan in Eastern Samar
Balite Bay, Mati City in Davao Oriental
Lianga Bay and coastal waters of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur
Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur
“Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” BFAR said.
The agency also reported that the coastal waters of Inner Malampaya Sound, Taytay in Palawan was also found positive for red tide toxin.
On the other hand, coastal waters of Bataan; coastal waters of Daram Island, Cambatutay, Irong-irong, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Western Samar; and Carigara Bay in Leyte are now free of the toxic red tides.
The operation is in line with the directives from BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona to intensify efforts against illegal importation.
According to the report, one of the fish dealers was unable to present the necessary importation documents of fish intended for wet markets when asked by authorities.
The required documents include Sanitary and Phytosanitary Import Certificate, delivery receipts, and transport clearance, without which is a violation of Sec. 105 or unlawful importation and exportation of fish or fishery species of Republic Act (RA) 8550, as amended by RA 10654 and in relation to FAO 195.
Meanwhile, the delivery receipt presented by the second dealer does not match the delivery receipt being issued by the alleged importing company, as per verification with the importer.
Notices of Violation for the filing of administrative cases were already issued to the dealers of imported fish.
The seized items, which include boxes of galunggong, mackerel, squid, yellow tail salmon, and moonfish, are kept in a storage facility under the custody of the apprehending team.
Based on the agency’s latest laboratory results in coordination with the local government units, shellfish collected in the following areas are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit:
Honda and Puerto Princesa Bays in Puerto Princesa City and Coastal waters of Inner Malampaya Sound
Taytay in Palawan;
Coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate;
Coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol;
Tambobo Bay, Siaton in Negros Oriental;
Coastal Waters of Daram Island, Zumarraga, Irong-irong, San Pedro, Maqueda and Villareal Bays in Western Samar;
Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City and Carigara Bay in Leyte;
Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar;
Balite Bay, Mati City in Davao Oriental;
Lianga Bay and Coastal waters of Hinatuan in Surigao del Sur;
Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur
Moreover, Bislig Bay in Surigao del Sur is also positive for red tide toxin.
Thus, all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption, the BFAR said.
However, other marine produce such as fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe to eat provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and all internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.
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