THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) yesterday vehemently denied the recent cases of mortality of tilapia or shrimp in the Taal Lake and Laguna de Bay area were caused by outbreak of diseases.
In a statement, the BFAR made the denial in view of reports there is an outbreak of diseases in tilapia or shrimp being collected in said areas.
The BFAR claimed the recent cases of fish mortality were caused by low dissolved oxygen (DO) due to abrupt weather changes.
The bureau further disclosed that as part of its biosecurity measures in place under Fisheries Order No. 100 and No. 241, it has been requiring health certificates in the transport or movement of tilapia fry and fingerlings and shrimp in post larvae stage for grow out since the year 2015 to stop the spread of diseases like the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease/Early Mortality Syndrome (APHND/EMS) and the Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV) threatening shrimp and tilapia culture.
The BFAR added that the tilapia and shrimp that will be brought to the wet markets will not require the same health certificates for transport.
The BFAR emphasized that these diseases do not pose any risk to human health. Should the fish commodities be affected by the said diseases, they are still safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and thoroughly washed and cleaned before cooking.
The BFAR, through its regional offices, will continue to strictly enforce FOO 100 and FOO 241 to ensure that the spread of fish diseases mentioned above is controlled and the tilapia and shrimp industries are protected.