BFAR chief skeptical of 'laminated' fish


Posted at Feb 10 2019 11:09 AM

MANILA - The chief of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said Sunday that he had doubts about several viral videos showing supposedly imported fish coated with plastic.

One clip shows an unidentified man peeling a transparent material off several pieces of galunggong or big-bellied round scad that he purportedly bought in Daraga, Albay.

Other videos showed mackerel and sapsap or ponyfish wrapped with a similar plastic-like material, said BFAR Executive Director Eduardo Gongona.

While some large imported fish are wrapped in plastic to preserve their freshness, it would be impractical to do the same for smaller fish as this would raise prices, said Gongona.

"Parang may duda ako... Ikaw ba lalagyan mo nang isa-isa iyung maliit na isda ng plastic? Hindi na kapani-paniwala iyun," he told radio DZMM.

(I seem to have doubts. Would you wrap small fish one by one in plastic? That's incredible.)

Some fish in colder climates also naturally develop a plastic-like coat to survive the harsh temperature, he noted.

Authorities also inspect imported fish products before they are released from Customs to ensure that these will not harm consumers' health, he added.

BFAR nonetheless was investigating the issue, said Gongona.

DZMM, 10 January 2019