Categories: BusinessNews

BFAR director: No order banning frozen fish from Pangasinan

IT’S not true.

This was the categorical reaction of the regional director of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to reports that the agency issued an order banning fishery products in a frozen state from Pangasinan to be sold in La Union.

Lilibeth Signey said that while it is true that her office, in coordination with San Fernando City’s Fishery Officer, conducted a surveillance on the reported presence of “imported, frozen fish” in San Fernando City wet market on August 24, …”the BFAR did not claim that the “frozen fish” were “tainted with toxic chemical formalin”  because there were no laboratory tests conducted on the presence of the chemical.

Signey said that contrary to a news report, the “frozen fish” being sold by at least six stalls in the city’s wet market were sourced not only from Pangasinan, but from Navotas, Korea, Vietnam and some parts of La Union province, according to the vendors.

She added that the frozen galunggong (round scad) were packed in brown or white boxes and covered with plastic materials, which shows that these were imported from other countries.

Signey said BFAR did not order the banning of “local frozen fish from other places”.

She said they are aware that it is necessary for locally harvested fish to be immediately put in ice to preserve freshness.

“What are banned from being sold in wet markets are “imported frozen fish”, she said, citing Fishery Administrative Order 195, Section 12, which calls for importation of fish only for canning or processing, and not for sale in wet markets.

She clarified that the Office of the Secretary of Agriculture issued Certificate of Necessity to Import round scad (known as galunggong) for wet market that took effect on Sept. 1, 2018.

She stressed that BFAR did not order the City Agriculture Office of San Fernando City to confiscate the “frozen, imported fish” but were informed of the existing law/FAO concerning imported fish. (with Philstar wire service)

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