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BM fears Tilapia Lake Virus may cause fish price hike in Bohol

BM fears Tilapia Lake Virus may cause fish price hike in Bohol

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BM fears Tilapia Lake Virus may cause fish price hike in Bohol

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Prevailing fish prices at the Dao Public Market in Tagbilaran City as of Wednesday

A Provincial Board (PB) member on Tuesday called for urgent action against the possible spread of the lethal Tilapia Lake Virus (TiLV) which she fears may affect fish prices in the province.

PB Member Jade Bautista, in a privilege speech delivered during the legislative body’s regular session on Tuesday, believes the virus may drive up fish prices in the province if it affects the yield of tilapia farmers.

“I believe that this should be resolved quickly for it will adversely affect our tilapia growers industry and corollary to that, will also affect our fish prices in the market,” said Bautista.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) officer-in-charge Candido Sumijon on Wednesday confirmed that fish kill incidents were reported in three interconnected towns, Sevilla, Bilar and Carmen.

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He also noted that one area in Bilar is suspected of being positive for TiLV.

If confirmed by the agency’s laboratory, it will be Bohol’s first recorded case of the disease, which primarily affects tilapia, one of the world’s most farmed fish.

“First time jud ni og ma confirm man gani ni sa taga regional office, sa laboratory nato,” said Sumijon.

However, the BFAR official noted that the virus is unlikely to spread and affect fish prices in the province.

He said that the virus will mostly be contained in specific areas particularly in fresh water making it difficult to spread and unable to affect seawater fish which is more widely consumed.

Sumijon believes that the disease spreads through fry and fingerlings which are being sourced from various areas.

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“Naa na siya sa source sa fry,” said Sumijon. “Ang history ana mura’g gikan na sa Luzon ug Mindano area.”

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To prevent the spread of the disease, tilapia which died in a fish kill should be buried or burned, he added.

While the virus is potentially lethal to fish, the BFAR clarified that it does not pose a risk to human health. (A. Doydora)

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