Sibugay gov orders ‘close monitor’ on prawn, shrimp farms PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 07 February 2014 13:13

Sibugay Governor Wilter Yap Palma has instructed the agriculture office “to closely monitor” the reported deaths of prawns and shrimps stocks in some parts of the province early this week.

The order came at the heel of reports from prawn and shrimp farmers of the deaths of their stocks in the towns of Tungawan, Naga, and Kabasalan.

Governor Palma in a text message said his office has “verified the reports and has already ordered the provincial agriculture personnel to closely monitor the development of the report.”

“At this stage, we are preparing appropriate steps to address the issue,” the governor added.

In Zamboanga City, the Office of the City Agriculture has warned prawn farmers in Barangay Vitali of a possible outbreak and infestation of White Spots Syndrome Virus (WSSV) on the shrimp farming industry with the onset of hot weather.

Barangay Vitali, which is located 73 kilometers east is known as the main source of crabs, lobsters, and prawns since prawn farming is the source of livelihood of majority of the residents in the area.

Rico Tabal, head of the Field Agriculture Office 6 based in Barangay Vitali, issued the warning after reports reached his office from fishpond operators indicated a “possible infestations of prawns by WSSV.”

Tabal said his office is very aware of the possible onset of WSSV infestations “during this time of the year and last year, and is likely to hit again this year the local prawn farming industry.”

He expressed alarm over the emergence of the WSSV, which has already been detected in some prawn farms in Baragay Vitali.

He said the main manifestation of the disease is the white spots mark in the head and tail of the infected shrimp.

Tabal said the WSSD can wipe out all population of shrimps in ponds in just few days’ time.

He said his office is preparing measures to address the possible outbreak of the WSSV infestation at the fishponds in Vitali.

Tabal added a dialogue among growers and stakeholders is scheduled today at his office with the personnel of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to see how the infestation can be contained if not eradicated.

Tabal said there is a need to control the possible spread of WSSV as it could drastically affect the volume of shrimps produced by the city.

Earlier, the BFAR has issued a red tide warning in ZamboangaSibugay. In its Shellfish Advisory No. 01 series of 2014 dated 13 January 2014, the agency said “based on the results of red tide monitoring activitiesshellfish samples collected from SibugueyBay are positive for the red tide toxin.”

The public was advised to refrain from eating, or gathering and harvesting, transporting and marketing shellfish from Sibuguey Bay “until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory limit”. — Rey Manriquez, DXIR-FM