BFAR: Enough fish for lent despite oil spill

(Photo courtesy of Datu Blah Sinsuat Fish Vendors Association)

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources on Thursday said there will be enough fish for Lent, as the country observes Holy Week next month.

“We are in the road season of fishing activity, we expect to meet the high demand for fish during the Holy Week,” said BFAR spokesman Nazario Briguera.

The DA-BFAR acknowledges some factors that may affect local fish production, including the unprecedented oil spill in Mindoro, Briguera added. There could be lower fish output in Oriental Mindoro and nearby provinces following the continuous leakage of the sunken vessel MT Princess Empress.

But “we do not see a shortage of fish on a national scale because of the oil spill,” assured Briguera.

The official pointed out that expensive fuel costs and post-harvest losses continue to be among challenges besetting the fishing industry.

“Oil prices are fluctuating. Sometime, it increases and affects fishing activities, so the DA-BFAR is implementing a subsidy program and utilizing payao technology for small-scale fisherfolk,” he said.

The bureau has also launched post-harvest interventions to address spoilage. President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. earlier announced that the government will build 11 more cold storage facilities that will be operational by the end of this year.

Current fish spoilage is between 25 to 40 percent because of storage problems in post-harvest equipment like blast freezer, ice making machines, cold storage warehouses and fish landing sites, according to the DA-BFAR.

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