By Madelaine Miraflor
The recent fish mortality cases in Taal Lake and Laguna de Bay were not due to an outbreak of certain diseases, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).
In a statement, BFAR said there is no outbreak of diseases in tilapia or shrimp and that the recent cases of fish mortality in the Taal Lake and Laguna de Bay area were caused only by low dissolved oxygen (DO) due to abrupt weather changes.
The agency noted that as part of the biosecurity measures in place under Fisheries Order No. 100 and No. 241, it has been requiring health certificates in the transport or movement of tilapia fry and fingerlings and shrimp in post larvae stage for grow-out since the year 2015.
This is to stop the spread of diseases like the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV), Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease/Early Mortality Syndrome (APHND/EMS), and the Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV) threatening shrimp and tilapia culture.
BFAR noted, however, that these diseases do not pose any risk to human health.
“Should the fish commodities be affected by the said diseases, they are still safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and thoroughly washed and cleaned before cooking,” it said.
BFAR, through its regional offices, said that it will continue to strictly enforce the Fisheries Orders to ensure that the spread of fish diseases is controlled and the tilapia and shrimp industries are protected.