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Fisheries Still Affected by Oil Spill in the Philippines

Lucy Towers
20 January 2014, at 12:00am

PHILIPPINES - Fisherfolk in Estancia, particularly Barangay Botongan hit by an oil spill, are still warned by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, not to collect, consume and sell fish caught along the shorelines.

BFAR’s Remia Aparri said the samples of fish, shellfish and the water are still being analyzed by the Oil Spill Programme Laboratory of the University of the Philippines-Visayas.

“We are still waiting for the results,” Aparri told the media in a conference of the Oil Spill Response Team together with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor.

Water, shellfish and fish samples were sent to the laboratory last January 2, and the results, according to Aparri will be the basis in their issuance of advisory as to the safety of the marine products.

She said that the shellfish are sedentary in nature staying most of the time along the shoreline and consuming them may cause gastroenteritis and other illnesses.

Fishes, on the other hand, swim around, yet may also be contaminated as the water, so refraining from collecting them as of this period is discouraged as well.

BFAR has allowed fishermen to fish only beyond five kilometers offshore of Bgy. Botongon.

To date, the Iloilo Provincial Government is still exerting pressure on the oil spill contractor Kuan Yu, to hasten clean-up, as it will file charges for the sluggish work, beyond target date, according to Governor Defensor.