Mayor Arcinue orders probe of fish cages operations

SUAL—A composite team of department units of the town and government agencies conducted a probe Thursday of the  fish cages site in this town to verify the complaint of improper garbage disposal, especially of dead bangus, in the area.

Mayor Roberto Arcinue said the team was composed of representatives from the offices of the municipal agriculturist, environment office, sanitary Inspector, and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

Arcinue tasked the team to check the disposal of dead bangus, plastics, emptied sacks of used feeds in the fish cages site in Cabalitian Bay in Barangays Pangascasan, Cabalitian and Bacquioen.

However, the complaint was filed by the Barangay Baybay Norte council.

“This is the responsibility of fish cages operators,” Arcinue said.

He said if the site emits a foul odor on account of the dead fish left to rot in the sea, the cage operators should provide a landfill area where dead bangus are buried.

He warned that DENR could issue a cease and desist order in fish cage operation of violators based on the Fish Code of the Philippines and the Fish Code of Sual.

Arcinue denied having received any letter complaint from Barangay Baybay Norte officials  and expressed dismay that the barangay council chose to file its complaint before the provincial board and not to him.

“I have not yet received their letter,” he said.

“There is something fishy here. Why? Does the provincial board have police power over fish cage operations? Why not the DENR or BFAR or other agencies that have inspectors? Does the provincial board have inspectors?,” he said.

He said  the move of the barangay appears to have “political color”.

Still, Arcinue said the provincial board is welcome to do a site inspection at the fish cages area.

There are 750 fish cages in Sual that produces 60,000 kilos a day of bangus that are traded in Malabon, Navotas and Dagupan City, he said.

He said the town is lucky as it does not experience fish kill. (PhilStar Wire Service)

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