BFAR: The country may be importing ‘galunggong’ from Philippine waters

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  • BFAR said the galunggong fish which the country will import next month may have come from Philippine waters
  • DA Secretary Manny Pinol signed an administrative order allowing the importation of 17,000 metric tons of galunggong
  • A group of fishermen said importation is not the problem but the presence of middlemen

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) National Director Eduardo Gongona said the galunggong (poor man’s fish, round scad) that the country is planning to import next month may have come from the Philippine waters.

GMA News quoted Gongona saying in the program News To Go: “Ang duda ko, baka naman ‘yung ini-import natin ay galing pa sa atin ‘yun ‘di ba, kasi nakatakas nga.”

[My doubts, the fish we’re importing came from our own waters, because those escaped (from fishpens).]

The BFAR director said the fish may have escaped as local fishermen do not have the ability to capture them due to their limited equipment.

He added medium to large galunggong has migratory demands, and countries such as Malaysia, Vitamin, Taiwan, China and Thailand fishermen would be able to capture them.

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The Department of Agriculture, as per Inquirer, has earlier allowed the importation of the fish to address the rising prices of the fish market in the Philippines.

DA Secretary Emmanuel Pinol signed the agreement, Wednesday, allowing the importation of 17,000 metric tons of galunggong which will be sold in the wet market.

The fish is usually imported from Vietnam, China or Taiwan.

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A group of fishermen called “Pamalakaya” protested against the importation as they said it is not the solution to the rising prices of fish variety in the local market.

The presence of middlemen, they say, is the reason why the price of galunggong skyrocketed.

“Halimbawa sa isang fish port, makakarating doon sa consumer ay mga apat hanggang limang kamay na ang dadaanan. Sa bawat dadaanang kamay niyan ay tumutubo sila,” the group said during their protest, Wednesday, BFAR Office, Quezon City.

[For example, in one fish port, the fish there will pass through four to five hands — and in each hand, the price increases.]