The common trade practice for tilapia is selling them alive. They are placed in a large water bath or basins. Electronic aerators are provided to provide ample supply of oxygen and keep the fish alive. My clothes often got wet when passing near a group of tilapia fish vendors. Live tilapia swimming and wagging their bodies causes the water to strike to all directions and wetting all objects in its path. Vendors having the most aggressive fish usually got the crowd. Every customer has a chance to choose fish. The vendor will then tap the fish with side of the knife and remove the gills and entrails.
So what to do when frozen tilapia fish are found? Just ignore them and find another vendor. Ignore even if the cost is lower.
In the next few days you might find frozen tilapia in public markets. Reason is the fish kill in Lake Cebu. About 48.5 tons of tilapia were found dead – 3.8 million approximated value. The figure is expected to rise cause the upwelling usually last for six days.
According to BFAR, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, the incidence is due to lack of dissolved oxygen. Frequent rains cause rising of warm water resulting to oxygen depletion. The growing number of commercial fish cages also contributes.
Double dead fish are not safe for human consumption.