Mindoro fisherfolks feel impact of oil spill — BFAR
Photo from Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Central Office / Facebook
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Wednesday said fisherfolks of the entire Mindoro province are now feeling the impact of the oil spill from the tanker vessel MT Princess Empress.
This is after the provincial government has already declared a “fishing ban” due to the oil spill affecting more than 11,000 families of fishermen whose lives depend on shore waters.
BFAR Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit Chief Nazario Briguera said aside from the fisherfolks, the most affected are the seaweeds and crustacean stationary farms.
“Fish tend to swim,” Briguera said referring to danger in marine life brought by this kind of mishap, but seaweeds and shellfish could not move to protect themselves.
He added that this was the reason they should infuse some intervention like taking technical analysis from the sea waters and funds for the alternative livelihood of fisherfolks.
“BFAR has mobilized our floating asset, the monitoring control surveillance vessel, as our intervention to check the sea waters,” Briguera said, as Oriental Mindoro contributed 3.5 percent to the total food production coming from sea waters of the entire region.
However, Briguera added that it will take time to have the laboratory tests results on sea waters to determine the areas where fishermen could fish.
“Our director (Demosthenes Escoto) was already there, and allotted P4 million for the immediate implementation of alternative livelihood for the affected fishermen,” Briguera explained.
BFAR also coordinated with the provincial government and suggested to Governor Bonz Dolor to declare a “central landing” for commercial fishing vessels to check if the fishes they catch are safe for consumption.
Briguera also said that BFAR believed that owners of the MT Princess Empress that capsized last 28 February, spilling oil into the waters of Oriental Mindoro, should compensate the fisherfolks affected and be made accountable for environmental damages.
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