The fish kill tragedy gave a shocking fall to fish industry. Only few persons are willing to buy bangus and tilapia. They are afraid that those might be botcha – double dead fish coming from Kakiputan Channel, Pangasinan and Taal Lake, Batangas.
Authorities are very active inspecting public markets and delivery trucks. They have confiscated tons and tons of double dead fish so far. Who knows, legally caught fish were confiscated too. Selling fish is very hard. Some fish are spoiled due to long storage.
Most fish vendors lower their price in attempt to get more sales and prevent commodity spoilage. However, the risk of confiscation is high. Cheap fish are doubted as botcha.
Many fishermen were severely effected. Imagine, their source of income is fish rearing but all fish are eaten by microbes. A common fish cage cost approximately 6,000 pesos to build and will take one year to recover.
Wholesalers and retailers are also losing income.
Now, authorities want to bring back the people’s trust on fish. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) organized a free lunch – their main dish was bangus. The purpose was to prove the public that not all fish are affected by botcha scare. Where did they get their fish? It came from a nearby public market.
Another move was done by Batangas Congressmen and officials. They organized a free lunch. The viand are fried tilapia and bangus paksiw. The fish are caught from Taal lake.
After their efforts, can we consider eating fish safe? I can say yes it is safe. Just be sure to buy fresh fish with red gills, bright eyes and firm flesh. Fish with pale gills, red sunken eyes, bloated stomach and saggy flesh should be avoided. In addition, buy only live tilapia.
update as of june 22, 2011
— No recorded fish kill as of June 21, 2011. The residents of Talisay, Batangas and nearby towns were very thankful. To celebrate and prove that the fish scare was over, Batangas Governor Vilma Santos and town mayors held a fiesta. The main dish is isdang Talisay (tilapia and bangus).
— Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) together with local officials and fish traders held a boodle fight in Navotas, Manila. Their main menu are tilapia ang bangus fish. Their motto is to prove to public that it is safe to eat fish.