The Department of Agriculture’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources clarifies that there is no outbreak of diseases in tilapia or shrimp and that 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, we would like to inform the public that as part of the biosecurity measures in place under Fisheries Order No. 100 and No. 241, the Bureau has been requiring health certificates in the transport or movement of tilapia fry and fingerlings and shrimp in post larvae stage for grow out since the year 2015 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 that will be brought to the wet markets will not require the same health certificates for transport.
The DA-BFAR would like to emphasize that 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 ensure that the spread of fish diseases mentioned above is controlled and the tilapia and shrimp industries are protected.#