The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR) clarifies that there is no outbreak of diseases in tilapia or shrimp.
This is because of the recent cases of fish mortality in the Taal Lake and Laguna de Bay area were caused by low dissolved oxygen (DO) due to abrupt weather changes.
Furthermore, as part of the biosecurity measures in place under Fisheries Order No. 100 and No. 241, the Bureau requires health certificates in the transport or movement of tilapia fry and fingerlings and shrimp in the post-larvae stage for growing out since 2015.
These measures aim to stop the spread of diseases like the White Spot Syndrome Virus (WSSV) and Acute Hepatopancreatic Necrosis Disease/Early Mortality Syndrome (APHND/EMS) and the Tilapia Lake Virus (TilV) threatening shrimp and tilapia culture.
Tilapia and shrimp brought to the wet markets will not require the same health certificates for transport.
The DA-BFAR emphasized these diseases do not pose any risk to human health. Should the fish commodities be affected by the said diseases, they are still safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and thoroughly washed and cleaned before cooking.
The DA-BFAR, through its regional offices, will continue to strictly enforce FOO 100 and FOO 241 to control the spread of fish diseases mentioned above, and the tilapia and shrimp industries are protected.