The Enforcement Division-Bantay Dagat Section of the City Environment and Natural Resources (City ENRO) confiscated more than 40 kilograms of shellfish and around 10 bottles of its preserved meat made into what is commonly known as “dayok” in Puerto Princesa City over the week.
Bantay Dagat section head Luisito Garcia said the confiscation is part of the City ENRO’s intensified campaign and implementation of the shellfish ban in Puerto Princesa in connection with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) recently issued warning that Puerto Bay and Honda Bay are positive for paralytic shellfish poison beyond the regulatory limit.
He said City ENRO chief Atty. Carlo Gomez ordered the strict implementation of the shellfish ban last January 11 to protect the public from possible red tide poisoning after BFAR released its bulletin.
BFAR issued Shellfish Bulletin No. 1, Series of 2021 also last January 11, placed the two bays under areas affected by the red tide contamination.
Gomez also instructed the Enforcement Division to coordinate with the barangays surrounding Ulugan Bay to prohibit them from bringing their shellfish products to the city proper as it will only be confiscated by authorities. He likewise told ordered the conduct of massive information dissemination on the red tide bulletin.
“We want to warn the public to refrain from eating shellfish because it is not yet safe because of the red tide,” Gomez said in a statement.
City ENRO Senior Environmental Management Specialist and Enforcement Management Division chief Cardelar Stevie Angel M. Madriñan has also told shellfish gatherers in Ulugan Bay to just sell their products in their respective barangays.
“Doon sa mga lugar na walang red tide like Ulugan Bay ay doon na lang nila itinda [ang shellfish] at wag nang dalhin dito sa Puerto kasi huhulihin at huhulihin sila,” Madrinañ said.
Different kinds of shellfish like aripuros, sikad-sikad, ranga-ranga, rungot-rungot, talaba and kibaw were confiscated by the City ENRO team lead by Garcia in makeshift market stalls in Barangays Bucana-Matahimik near Iwahig, Sicsican, and Tagburos.
The shellfish were found in possession of vendors Allan Biharang, Perma Sabinet, and Janet Arboleda of Brgy. Tagburos, and Karen Arzaga, and Andrea Dela Cruz of Brgy. Iwahig.
As part of City ENRO’s standard process, the confiscated shellfish were buried.