Agencies move to strengthen food safety in aquaculture products
Officials of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and their local government unit (LGU) counterparts in Cagayan have recently held a meeting to outline measures to ensure safer farmed fish and other aquatic species.
The measures discussed will address the use of antibiotics and other banned or regulated substances in fish farming, and the presence of heavy metals and coliforms in farmed fishes.
The measures discussed were just precautionary in nature and are pursuant to the respective mandates of the agencies, BFAR said.
“Monitoring of fish culture areas and analysis of fish samples reveal the use of antibiotics and presence of heavy metals and coliforms, in some sites,” Jefferson Soriano, head of the Fish Health Laboratory at BFAR Region 02, said.
Soriano emphasized that all values derived were within tolerable level, but the situation can turn into a problem if no action is made at present.
To tackle the situation, the agencies agreed to intensify information campaign in identified areas, further promote compliance to the Code of Good Aquaculture Practice (GAqP), and implement farm registration which can serve as basis for monitoring later.
The agencies will also identify other fishery areas for monitoring, reiterate relevant local ordinances, and promote compliance to solid waste management.