The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Ilocos region is planning to talk with the local officials of Bolinao and Anda regarding the fishpen moratorium amid the recent fish kill that hit two Pangasinan towns.

Nestor Domenden, BFAR regional director, said the agency is seeking the help of Anda Mayor Aldrin Cerdan and Bolinao Mayor Arnold Celeste to impose moratorium on fishpen operations while they address the problem of fish kill, which resulted in the loss of 964 tons of bangus (milkfish).

“The BFAR has no police powers, so the local government units have to take the reins in the enforcement,” Domenden said.

The BFAR official said the moratorium includes a plan or relocation or spotting for an alternative mariculture area, ideally within the Lingayen Gulf.

He added that a more permanent solution would be removing the structures blocking the flow of water, so that waste materials would not settle underneath.

As of 2016, BFAR has detected three meters of muck (waste materials) under the waters of Caquiputan Channel.

Meanwhile, Domenden assured the public that there’s enough supply of milkfish for the whole region, including for export to other areas.

“The total damages in the recent fish kill equate to only 0.7 percent of the entire production of the region in a year,” Domenden said.

“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 added.