LINGAYEN, Pangasinan — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Ilocos region has assured enough supply of milkfish (bangus) for the whole region, including for export to other areas, despite the recent fish kill in the towns of Anda and Bolinao.
BFAR Regional Director Nestor Domenden, in an interview during a fisheries forum here on Wednesday, revealed that 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 the region is self-sufficient in bangus production, and can continue exporting to other places, especially in Metro Manila, as the region is 127-percent sufficient.
“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.
The recent fish kill in the towns of Anda and Bolinao, which resulted in the loss of 964 tons of milkfish, will not affect the bangus industry in the county, Domenden said.
Meanwhile, the BFAR plans 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. Ahikam Pasion/PNA-northboundasia.com