BFAR bans sale of frozen fish products
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Region 2 here has banned the sale of imported fish and fishery products.
The move is a priority of the BFAR national leadership pursuant to Fisheries Administrative Order 195.
Atty. Arsenio Bañares, officer in charge of Fisheries Management Regulatory and Enforcement Division of BFAR-2, aid meeting with transporters Thursday that the ban would cover frozen fishery specifically mackerel, bonito, squid, sardines, salmon and salmon head and pangasius or cream dory.
“The importation of these fishery products is not prohibited, but the regulation states that these should go only to institutional buyers such as canneries, restaurant chains and fish processing plants, not to wet markets,” Bañares said.
He said the regulation aims to protect local fish producers and at the same time ensure good quality of fish in the wet markets.
While the order was issued way back 1999, the OIC said BFAR lacked personnel to enforce the law back then.
BFAR-2 Regional Director Dr. Milagros Morales said the ban could lead to more business opportunities for local fishermen and fish growers.
“To date, we are only 42 percent fish sufficient in the region, thus there is ample demand that fish farmers and fishermen can try to satisfy,” Morales said.
Also discussed during the meeting was the implementation of Republic Act 9147 (Conservation and Protection of Wildlife Resources and their Habitats) and FAO 233 governing trade of aquatic wildlife, covering all species that are not farmed.
Bañares said that fish transporters must secure a Local Transport Permit (LTP) for the shipment of fish and fishery products outside each province. The LTP can be secured at the BFAR Provincial Fishery Offices in Aparri, Cagayan; San Mateo, Isabela; Diffun, Quirino and Bayombong, Nueva Vizcaya as well as in its Regional Office.
Pursuant to FAO 233 and FAO 196, Bañares said the Quarantine Unit of the agency will strengthen existing checkpoints to check the entry and exit of fish and fishery products within Region 2. (PNA)