SAMPLES of oysters were collected from the seawater between the Inayawan Sanitary Landfill and the South Road Properties (SRP) yesterday to find out if they are safe to be eaten.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) 7 and the Cebu City’s Department of Veterinary Medicine and Fisheries (DVMF) conducted a sampling and will run several tests.
Maria Merlyn Catipay, officer-in-charge of the Fishery Division of DVMF, said the shells collected near the dump site will be tested for any contamination, considering that the area is close to the landfill.
The oysters are sold in Carbon Public Market.
Aside from the oysters, the group also tested the seawater in the area.
The area is near the boundary of the cities of Talisay and Cebu, and is particularly close to the dispatching area of the Department of Public Services at the SRP.
An access road connects the area to the landfill.
“We just conducted the sampling to determine if there is contamination of our shells, particularly oysters,” Catipay said.
When the team visited the area, two fisherfolks were harvesting oysters.
Catipay said that in a day, the fisherfolks, who are mostly mothers from Barangay San Roque, Talisay City, can gather around two to six kilos of oyster meat, which they deliver directly to the Carbon Public Market.
The meat is sold for P120 to P150 per kilo while oysters with shells are sold for P40 per kilo.
Catipay said they also got samples of oysters sold in the market and will conduct a separate test to check where the contamination came from, if there is any.
“If there is any contamination, we will find out if it originated at source or in the market. We will compare the two test results,” she said.
Catipay said the BFAR 7 personnel are running the tests and will analyze the results, since they are the ones authorized to do so.
Since the tests will take 48 hours to complete, Catipay said BFAR 7 is expected to release the results on Saturday yet.
Dr. Alice Utlang, chief of the DVMF, said they conducted the sampling because they want all sea products sold in the market to be safe for public consumption.
If any of the samples are found to be contaminated, Utlang said they will prohibit the harvesting of oysters and other sea products in the area near the landfill.