Fish kill bangus traders charged; supply enough

>> Saturday, June 16, 2018

By Eva Visperas

DAGUPAN CITY  — Criminal charges have been filed against six traders and their drivers for trying to sell in this city bangus affected by fish kill in Anda and Bolinao towns.
Isagani Rarang and his wife Nancy, Richie Cano and Perfecto Cacho, Artemio Carolino Jr. and Andy Credo, all residents of Anda, and Lorence Espinocilla of Alaminos were charged with violation of the Food Safety Act, Sanitation Code, Consumer Act and Fisheries Code.
“The non-presentation of auxiliary invoice, transport and sale of double dead fish... are unlawful and malicious,” read the complaint filed by city agriculturist Emma Molina and health officer Ophelia Rivera on Wednesday.
Tests showed that the seized fish were not fit for human consumption.
More than P100 million worth of bangus stocks were affected by fish kill in Anda and Bolinao last week, which was blamed on the intense heat and intermittent rains.
This, as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in the Ilocos region assured there is  an ample supply of milkfish (bangus) for the region and other regions, despite the recent fishkill in the towns of Anda and Bolinao.
BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden, in an interview during a fisheries forum here on Wednesday, revealed that less than 1 percent of the region’s total production for the year was lost due to the fishkill.
Domenden said the region is self-sufficient in bangus production, and can continue supplying the needs of other areas, including Metro Manila, as the region is 127-percent sufficiency.
“While it’s true that 964 tons of losses are not a joke, it is only 20 percent of production of the 123 structures in said areas,” he said.
Meanwhile, BFAR officials are planning to speak with Mayor Aldrin Cerdan of Anda and Mayor Arnold Celeste of Bolinao early next week regarding the fishpen moratorium.
“The BFAR has no police powers, so the local government unit has to take the reins in the enforcement,” said Domenden.
The moratorium includes a plan or relocation or spotting for an alternative mariculture area, ideally within the Lingayen Gulf.
BFAR also suggested the use of rope frame cases as a way of modifying the fish cages.
“A more permanent solution would be removing the structures blocking the flow of water, so that waste materials would not settle underneath,” Domenden said.
As of 2016, BFAR has detected three meters of muck (waste materials) under the waters of Caquiputan Channel.


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