Never Buy Dynamite Killed Fish

The botcha trade still continues despite of government efforts to stop it. Recently, over 200 kilograms of double dead pig meat were seized in Paco area. Consuming public should be very careful, some err meat are delivered directly to karenderia.

Authorities are keeping an eye to botcha hot spots such as Balintawak, Paco Market, Divisoria Market, Quiapo Market and Kalentong Market.

The very common reaction to news like this is avoidance of the commodity. Never buy pork and choose other product instead, like fish.

Not so long after the botcha incidence, Philippine Coast Guard and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) seized about 1 1/2 tons of dynamite killed fish in Manila Bay. The said fish cargo came from Palawan.

When a dynamite or molotov is thrown, it creates a shock wave that is able to kill almost all the living organisms within its range. Big and small creatures including the corals that serve as fish breading grounds.

Fish caught by dynamite fishing have damaged internal organs. I cannot find any documented impact to human but patronizing dynamite killed fish is highly discouraged.

Is It Now Safe To Eat Bangus, Tilapia etc… From Taal Lake and Kakiputan Channel?

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.fish art

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.

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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.

Beware of Bangus Botcha: Massive Fish Kill In Batangas and Pangasinan

Beware of double dead fish. Massive fish kill is occuring in Batangas and Pangasinan. Seven towns in Batangas are placed under state of calamity (Talisay, Laurel, Agoncillo, San Nicolas, Cuenca, Sta Teresita and Alitagtag). Batangas alone has estimated 140 million pesos losses.

Authorities warns the fisherfolks not to sell and eat double dead fish. However, some merchant wanted to recover their capital and tried to sell their err products. Some were confiscated by officials though many of them managed to reached the end consumers.

Double dead fish is easy to identify. It has bad smell, pale gills, red sunken eyes, bloated belly and soft body. But they are very hard to identify when already processed.

Merchants might processed their product to: fish kill

fish balls
bola bola
daing
broiled or inihaw
lumpiang isda
kikiam

The above products products are usually made from low cost fish such as galungong. But considering the price drop of bangus from 110 per kilogram to ten pesos per tumpok (maybe a couple of kilograms), illegal processing is very tempting and profitable.

Double dead fish are dangerous. Floating and  barely breathing fish are already dangerous. They are already deteriorated and have unfriendly microorganisms.

According to BFAR, the whole batch of commodity should be thrown away once a slight itchiness on tongue is felt – an indication of high histamine levels.

The fish kill is due to low oxygen levels resulting from climate changes. This finding is still vague though. BFAR is still studying the other possible causes and try to find ways to prevent it from happening again.

Update as of June 4, 2011

– other sea creatures like muang, siliw, katang, apta, pauto, biya and igat are affected by fish kill.

– several cases of food poisoning due to double dead fish were recorded

– the illegal trade of fish botcha continues

– buying public are encourage to take caution

– some lawmakers suggested a heavier punishment for illegal fish trade

– permits to fish pen operators will be limited

– even the  animal parks are refusing to use double dead fish as animal feed. Those fish could  have unknown health effects to their herd.

– many local fishermen are suffering from illness due to bad smell of decomposing fish.

Update as of June 5, 2011

– According to BFAR, we should not be afraid of eating fish balls. This product have no real fish and mostly made of artificial ingredients. Maybe we should be afraid of the preservatives.

Update as of June 7, 2011

– Another one ton dead fish are found in Mataas na Kahoy, Batangas

– The water around Taal Lake is beginning to turn red due to large number of dead fish. Shrimps and turtles are also affected.

Update as of June 8, 2011

– Some of the nearby schools suspended their classes. Many students are suffering from diarrhea and vomiting due to bad smelling dead fish.

Dipping Old Chicken and Pork in Fresh Blood To Make it Look Fresh

Authorities are doing all their efforts to stop illegal meat trade. Quezon City Health Department doing continuous monitoring and surprise inspection to caught and prevent botcha, double dead meat sellers. They confiscated several batches of dirty meats and closed some unsanitary processing plants.warning sign

However, many bad merchants still manage to dispose their products. The punishment for the deed might be too weak or the government efforts are not enough. Are they really exerting efforts?

Almost 100 kilograms of frozen pork and 80 pieces dressed chickens were caught at Divisoria street. Sorry, Its not in Quezon City! The city might really be a botcha-free area. Two thumbs up for you!

National Meat Inspection Service doubt the meat safety cause of improper handling. They are sold at sidewalks and they are delivered using tricycle. All the meat are old stock but fresh pig blood was found along. The merchants are dipping meat to fresh blood before selling. This is done to make it looking fresh. A clear example of cheating.

Beware: Old and unsantiray handled meat products might cause food poisoning! NMIS confiscated all the meat products due to unsanitary handling and no sanitation permit. Perhaps the commodities are really hazardous.

The illegal trade was caught due to reports of concerned citizens. Thanks to them! They should continue patrolling for the safety of the masses.

The illegal did has a punishment of five months to one year imprisonment.However, no one was arrested to pay for the sin. Maybe they gonna imprison the dressed chicken and pork. Two thumbs down for them.