Cordova, Lapu residents warned not to eat shells-A A +A
Monday, October 14, 2013
DUE to the oil spill that hit Cordova town and Lapu-Lapu City two months ago, officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 warned fisherfolk and residents in these areas against eating shellfish, particularly sea cucumber.
Andres Bojos, BFAR 7 director, said in a press conference yesterday that while fish caught in the waters off Cordova and Lapu-Lapu are safe to eat, shellfish and sea cucumber (locally known as “bat” or “balat”) are another matter.
Bojos said that in Cordova, residents of Barangays Day-as and Buagsong are particularly advised not to eat shellfish caught near their shores due to their exposure to the oil spill.
He said their fish experts have collected samples from these areas and had them examined in the University of the Philippines (UP) College of Fisheries and Ocean Sciences.
Bojos said that the BFAR 7 will issue an advisory if it is already safe to consume shellfish again.
Last August, the sinking of the m/v St. Thomas Aquinas off the coast of Talisay City resulted in an oil spill that contaminated much of the waters off Cordova and Lapu-lapu City.
The oil spill did not only damage mangroves but also affected fish yields.
The oil spill also affected Cebu City, where the Department of Labor and Employment (Dole) 7 and the Cebu City Government will help 250 fisherfolk living in seven coastal barangays.
These fisherfolk have been heavily affected by the oil spill.
In a news conference yesterday, Eduardo Abellar Cabras, executive director of the Coastal Management Board (CMB), said a total of P735,000 worth of aid will be given to the fisherfolk.
Cabras said Dole will give the residents jobs and will pay them P196 a day.
The project, Cabras said, will last for 30 days. The first 125 fisherfolk will be working in the first 15 days while the rest will work in the next 15 days.
The fisherfolk are living in the coastal areas of Barangays Inayawan, Basak San Nicolas, Mambaling, Duljo Fatima, Ermita and Pasil.
“These fisherfolk are those whose jobs have been affected by the sinking of m/v St. Thomas Aquinas. They are economically displaced. Although the incident happened two months ago, they are still suffering from the effects of the incident,” he said.
He said the public are still afraid to eat fish and other marine products because of the number of passengers that perished at sea.
There are still 21 passengers on board Aquinas who remain missing.
Cabras said the documents needed for the release of the financial aid is being processed by Dole. He said the list of beneficiaries was already provided by the City’s Bantay Dagat Commission.
Cabras said the CMB has submitted a resolution to the City Council asking them to grant Mayor Michael Rama the authority to enter into and sign a memorandum of agreement with Dole for the assistance.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on October 15, 2013.