BFAR detects oil contaminants in fish, water samples in Oriental Mindoro, recommends fishing ban

enablePagination: false
maxItemsPerPage: 10
maxPaginationLinks: 10


Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, March 21) — Traces of oil contaminants were found in fish and water samples in areas affected by the oil spill in Oriental Mindoro, the Department of Agriculture's (DA) Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Tuesday.

The BFAR said it collected samples from nine affected municipalities in the province from March 3 to 14. These are Naujan, Pola, Pinamalayan, Bansud, Gloria, Roxas, Mansalay, Bongabong, and Bulalacao.

"Preliminary findings showed that traces of petroleum products, particularly oil and grease, were detected in water samples," the bureau said.

"The DA-BFAR likewise found low-level contaminants or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH) in the fish samples," it added.

According to Center for Disease Control and Prevention, PAH are a class of chemicals that occur naturally in coal, crude oil, and gasoline.

The BFAR said it is harmful to humans and other living organisms and may accumulate in the flesh of fish over time.

But the DA-BFAR said further sampling and analysis are being conducted to determine if marine products are safe for human consumption.

In the meantime, the bureau recommended implementing a fishing ban in the affected areas for public safety.

"The DA-BFAR recommends the continuous suspension of fishing activities in the aforementioned areas in Oriental Mindoro for public safety," it said. "The bureau advises LGUs (local government units) concerned to heed this science-based recommendation."

It also said separate tests on water and fish samples are being conducted in Caluya, Antique, which has also declared a fishing ban.

READ: Oil spill from Oriental Mindoro reaches Verde Island in Batangas City

On Saturday, the bureau assured the public there is enough supply for the Holy Week despite some food supply chain challenges, including the oil spill off Oriental Mindoro.

READ: Fish supply enough for Holy Week BFAR