Fish shortage feared amid Oriental Mindoro oil spill
MANILA, Philippines — Senator Sherwin Gatchalian on Friday expressed his concern over a possible fish supply shortage due to the massive oil spill after the MT Princess Empress sank off Oriental Mindoro last February 28.
The ill-fated vessel was carrying some 800,000 liters of industrial fuel when it sank.
“It would take us some time to recover from the horrendous impact of this incident, not only on the environment and the livelihood of our people including those in the tourism industry, and thus, we should extend whatever assistance we can give to help alleviate the plight of those affected by the oil spill,” Gatchalian said in a statement.
To date, an estimated 13,000 fishermen and their families in the province have already been affected.
Gatchalian said the volume of fish production is anticipated to drop in the following months as the oil spill creeps into the coasts of other provinces.
The oil spill has also reached parts of Palawan and Antique and may spread further to Romblon and Aklan.
“Kailangang maging handa tayo sa lahat ng oras sa anumang pagkakataon. Sana natuto na tayo sa ganitong mga trahedya. Kailangang mayroon na tayong pangmalawakang contingency plan upang maiwasan na ang muling pagtagas at pagkalat ng langis sa ating mga karagatan na pumapatay sa ating kabuhayan,” added Gatchalian, who recently led a relief operation in Oriental Mindoro,
(We need to be ready all the time. I hope we learned from tragedies like this. We need to have a contingency plan to avoid another oil spill that kills livelihoods.)
At least 77 coastal villages were placed under a state of calamity following the incident.
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