Fish sold in Cebu safe to eat-A A +A
Friday, August 23, 2013
CEBU -- To prove that the fish being sold in local markets is safe to eat, Rep. Benhur Salimbangon and two fisheries bureau officials on Thursday had breakfast at the Pasil Market in Cebu City.
The congressman from Cebu’s fourth district, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (Bfar) Director Asis Perez and Bfar-Central Visayas Regional Director Andres Bojos ate kinilaw na lamon-lamon (raw Blackspot tuskfish in vinegar), blue marlin stew also known as larang and grilled tuna.
Cebu City Market Administrator Raquel Arce joined them.
Salimbangon heads the House committee on aquaculture.
Talks have been going around that the fish sold in Pasil is contaminated from the oil spill after the Aug. 16 ferry collision off the coast of Talisay City.
Arce said there used to be hundreds of fish vendors, who shopped for fresh fish at the market but only two were around Thursday.
“It has been reported that the fish in Cebu have been affected by the oil spill. It was not specified that Cebu City is not included,” Arce said.
She said the fish sold in Pasil comes from Mindanao, the Visayan Sea, Palawan and Negros, which are far from the area affected by the oil spill.
Markets from Danao City in the north and Carcar City in the south get their fish from Pasil, which is the center of the province’s fish trade.
This is the reason even national officials were concerned about the rumors.
“Let’s help our fishermen,” Salimbangon told Balitang Bisdak.
Arce said she is worried that in two or three days, the unsold fish will no longer be edible. The fish can be dried though.
Today, Cebu City officials will also have breakfast at the Pasil Market.
Next door in Mandaue City, officials also assured that fish sold at the Mandaue City Public Market is safe to eat.
“There is no reason not to buy fish from our market,” Market Administrator Musoline Suliva said in a press briefing Thursday.
Fe Bolo, 48, a fish vendor, said her sales have gone down because people fear that the fish have eaten human flesh from the shipwreck off the coast of Talisay City.
But Bolo said the fish she sells come from the northern town of Bogo and provinces outside Cebu like Romblon, Bohol and even Mindanao.
There are 180 fish vendors in Mandaue’s public market.
Sally Igot of Barangay Mantuyong said her loss has amounted to P200,000 since Sunday.
Igot, 54, said she used to earn P60,000 to P80,000 by midday, but she only earned P2,000 on Thursday morning. She said she still has to pay the wage of her four workers.
Bfar 7 Assistant Director Allan Poquita said more than 90 percent of fish sold in Mandaue come from northern Cebu and other provinces.
“Our fish in the market is safe for public consumption,” he said.
Poquita said fish will stay away from areas with an oil spill.
“Fish are very sensitive. Once they smell something like oil, they will go away,” he said.
He said no one was reported poisoned in Guimaras when the province was affected by an oil spill.
He said no one can go fishing near the wreck of mv St. Thomas Aquinas because the area is restricted.
Poquita added only a few species of fish are carnivorous.
“We have emphasized to the public to wash and cook the fish thoroughly. The gills, scales and internal organs should be removed,” he said.
Ricky Bulacan, president of the fishermen’s association in Mandaue, said about 300 fishermen in the coastal barangays have been affected.
“Even if we go fishing far away from the areas affected by the oil spill, still nobody will buy our fish,” he said.
Bulacan said many fishermen have stopped fishing since Monday.
He thanked the Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office for giving relief goods to fishermen in Barangay Labogon.
Councilor Jimmy Lumapas said the City Council is willing to place the city under a state of calamity, but the damage is still being assessed.
“We are willing to declare the city under a state of calamity to give assistance to the affected fisherfolk,” he said.
Ricardo Mendoza, head of the City Solid Waste Management Office, said he has divided eco-wardens into two groups to monitor the coast of Mandaue.
He said the City has sent coconut husks to Cordova to help in the cleanup of the oil spill. (Sun.Star Cebu)
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on August 23, 2013.