Fish in oil-spilled town fit for eating, says BFAR
CEBU CITY—The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-7 (BFAR) has found that the fish in Cordova town is fit for consumption after it underwent a series of tests.
Cordova, a coastal town located in Mactan island, where majority of the residents rely on fishing for their livelihood, has a massive mangrove plantation that was damaged by an oil spill, which resulted from the collision on Aug. 15 between MV St. Thomas Aquinas and MV Sulpicio Express Siete.
The Department of Environment and Natural Resources-7 (DENR) earlier confirmed that 328 hectares of mangrove plantations in Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City were severely damaged by the oil spill.
BFAR-7 Director Andres Bojos said in a news conference on Monday that the fishes, especially the famous bakasi in the town, were safe to eat.
However, he warned that seashells especially in the villages of Day-as and Buagsong were still unsafe for human consumption since these were affected by the oil spill in August that also affected seven other villages.
Bojos added that he also advised the locals not to eat or get sea cucumbers since they were also likewise not yet certified safe for consumption.
The agency had sent samples of squid, grouper fish, eel, tabangko fish, seashells and sea cucumbers to the University of the Philippines Visayas in Miag-ao that conducted a polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon test to determine if these were fit for consumption.
Results showed that seashells and sea cucumbers were above minimum risk level which, Bojos explained, meant these were not not fit to be eaten.
The BFAR had promised to provide assistance to the fisherfolk there.
BFAR spokesperson Alma Saavedra on Monday said that 150,000 pieces of mangroves were ready for potting and planting.
The BFAR has also provided tempura vending for the 109 households in the 11 villages and fuel assistance to fishermen who own motorized pump boats so they can continue fishing in areas not affected by the oil slick. The financial assistance given Cordova residents has reached P976,000.
Saavedra added that there would be additional assistance for the affected residents.
Meanwhile, DENR-7 reported that the water quality on portions of coastal waters of Cordova and Lapu-Lapu City affected by the oil spill had significantly improved.