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BFAR lifts fishing ban in 3 oil spill hit towns in OrMin

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The Department of Agriculture-Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) on Monday allowed fishing activities in three-oil spill hit towns in Oriental Mindoro.

In a statement, the DA-BFAR said the waters off the areas of Calapan, Bansud and Gloria are now well within the standards for fishing activities.

Moreover, the bureau’s analyses also showed that the fishing waters of Bongabong, Bulalacao, Mansalay, Roxas, Baco, Puerto Galera and San Teodoro also in Oriental Mindoro remained safe for fishing activities.

The DA-BFAR, however, recommended keeping the fishing ban in Pola, Pinamalayan and Naujan because of the risk of contamination from traces of oil spill in these areas.

Furthermore, the agency will continue its time-series observation in the province, which will be the basis of its recommendations for concerned government agencies and local government offices.

To help the local fisherfolk, the bureau is also eyeing to provide over P117.8 million worth of emergency and relief assistance, early recovery efforts, and mid-to-long term recovery aid to oil spill-hit areas.

The BFAR said that about P12 million was allocated for fuel assistance to affected fisherfolk in Mimaropa, P4.4 million was already spent for post-harvest training for various fisherfolk associations and cooperatives, and over P1.5 million was utilized for food assistance to more than 5,000 fisherfolk in the region.

Moreover, the bureau said millions worth of funds was also allocated for the ongoing grant and capacity building efforts of fiberglass-reinforced plastic (FRP) boats with marine engines to affected fisherfolk in Oriental Mindoro.

In addition, the BFAR has deployed monitoring, control and surveillance vessels, as well as PPE sets and other materials for clean up activities.

Supplementary interventions are in the pipeline, including the grant of additional FRP boats, fish aggregating devices, aquaculture feed mill projects, bangus fry, tilapia fingerlings, and fish cages to areas affected by the oil spill.

The bureau said that the latest analyses showed that traces of oil and grease in water samples slightly increased in all sampling sites in comparison to the baseline data.

The trend indicated that the polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons amount present in seafood from Oriental Mindoro had stabilized to much lower concentrations.

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