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BFAR seizes killer puffer fish in Bicol markets

NAGA CITY, June 23, 2016 (Bicol Standard) - The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Regional Office here in Bicol burned around 40 kilos of dried puffer fish, locally known as "tikong" or "butete" after a simultaneous operation in markets across Camarines Sur and Albay today.

Dried puffer fish
Photo by Melvin Machado
BFAR Information Officer Nonie Enolva said this is part of their intensified campaign against the selling of potentially poisonous fish varieties, as prohibited by Fisheries Administrative Order 249.

BFAR personnel seized dried puffer fish from vendors in the markets of Pili, Calabanga, and Tinambac in Camarines Sur, and Guinobatan in Albay in its initial operation.

According to the vendors, the towns of Calabanga and Balatan in Camarines Sur and Burias Island in Masbate are among the sources of the puffer fish.

"Burning is one way of disposing of confiscated fisheries products. Another method is burying," Enolva told the Bicol Standard.

The dried fish, which amounted to around P5,000 in market value, were burned in front of the Bureau of Fire Protection Office in Pili, Camarines Sur.

Meanwhile, around 200 kilograms of puffer fish were confiscated in Guinobatan, Albay.

The BFAR has strengthened its information campaign against the selling and eating of puffer fish after several cases of deaths that resulted from the eating of puffer fish were noted in the region recently.

This year, the poisonous fish has claimed three lives in Camarines Sur alone.

Bicol Standard

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