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BFAR: Fish supply enough despite increased demand during Holy Week

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Wednesday said that there will be sufficient fish supply and stable fish prices in the country during the Holy Week amid the increase in demand.

DA-BFAR spokesperson Nazario Briguera said marine commodities such as galunggong, bangus, and tilapia will remain abundant in retail and wholesale markets in Metro Manila.

“Walang dapat ipag-alala ang ating mga kababayan na mangingilin at hindi kakain ng karne ngayong Semana Santa dahil sapat po ang suplay ng isda sa ating fish ports at mga palengke,” Briguera said in a statement.

(There's nothing to worry about for those abstaining from meat this Holy Week because we have enough fish supply in our ports and markets.)

Briguera emphasized that the agency is “not downplaying” the impact of the Oriental Mindoro oil spill on the country’s marine resources.

The BFAR earlier said the country is losing P5 million per day as fisherfolk continue to suffer from the fishing ban imposed in several areas affected by the oil spill from the sunken motor tanker off Oriental Mindoro.

At least 19,000 fishermen in nine municipalities in Oriental Mindoro were affected by the oil slick from the sunken MT Princess Empress, which was carrying 900,000 liters of industrial fuel.

Briguera, however, said the agency remains confident that other fishing grounds will continue to meet the public demand.

“We neither expect a shortage nor a sudden jump in prices of fish on a national scale. Relief and livelihood assistance and various government interventions have been in place to contain the situation in Oriental Mindoro. Kami man sa DA-BFAR ay naglunsad ng mga programa para matugunan ang pangangailangan ng mga mangingisdang apektado ng oil spill doon (The DA-BFAR launched various programs to address the needs of fisher folk affected by the oil spill),” he said.

Fish prices range from P120 to P240 per kilo, according to the latest price monitoring of DA-BFAR.

The agency said the price of local-fresh galungong ranges from P140 to P240 per kilo in wholesale and retail markets, while imported frozen galunggong costs P130 per kilo.

The price of bangus, on the other hand, ranges from P130 to P160 per kilo, while tilapia prices range from P120 to P150.

The BFAR said the price change might be influenced by the source area of the commodity. —Richa Noriega/ VAL, GMA Integrated News