Fishkill in Laguna Lake not caused by a virus — BFAR

Marje Pelayo   •   June 23, 2020   •   1058

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A has reported that around 800 metric tons of fish died in Laguna Lake last week in the areas of Pililia and Binangonan, Rizal.

Region 4A Director Sammy Malvas clarified that the fish kill was due to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the water and not because of any virus outbreak as some reports said.

“Kalimitan ang cause nyan ay iyong pabago-bagong weather condition natin. Halimbawa ay mainit sa araw tapos bandang hapon ay biglang bubuhos ang malakas na ulan, nagko-cause iyon ng pagbaba ng lebel ng dissolved oxygen, (Usually, the cause is the changing weather conditions. For example, the sun is up in the morning then in the afternoon, we have thunderstorms, that causes reduction in level of dissolved oxygen),” Malvas explained.

One of the viruses that can infect tilapya is the so-called ‘tilapia lake virus’ (TLV), a case of which was recorded three years ago in Bulacan.

There has been no recurrence of such incident so far according to Malvas, as they also conduct strict laboratory testing of fish seed samples before transporting them to other places.

“Nag-i-issue kasi tayo ng health certificate para doon sa transboundary movement ng mga buhay na semilya (We issue health certificates for transboundary movement of live fish seedlings),” Malvas said. 

The supply of tilapia at the Balintawak Market comes from Pampanga and Batangas and there has been no price increase. 

BFAR  assured that fish supplies in the market are safe to eat provided they are thoroughly cooked. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

12 areas positive for red tide toxin, BFAR warns

Robie de Guzman   •   December 23, 2020

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.

Undocumented fish imports seized in Malabon City

Marje Pelayo   •   December 2, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — A total of 467 boxes of imported fish of different species were seized from two dealers during a recent market denial operation in Malabon City.

In a report published on Wednesday (December 2), the Department of Agriculture – Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) said the illegal packages were seized by the agency’s team of law enforcers and fisheries inspectors in an operation held on Monday (November 30).

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.

BFAR warns of shellfish, red tide poisoning in coastal waters across PH

Marje Pelayo   •   November 13, 2020

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) warned against consumption of shellfish from coastal waters in several parts of the country due to contamination.

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:

Luzon

  • Bataan (Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Balanga, Hermosa, Orani, Abucay and Samal);
  • 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; 

Visayas

  • 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; 

Mindanao

  • 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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