THE BUREAU of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Thursday said fish supply will not be affected in the immediate term by the recent major oil spill incident in Mindoro, citing sufficient catch from other parts of the country.   

We are in the peak season of fishing activity, so we expect to meet the high demand for fish during the Holy Week,the BFAR said quoting its spokesperson Nazario C. Briguera in a media briefing. 

The Philippines is a largely Catholic country where fasting from poultry and livestock meat is traditionally observed during the Lenten period that culminates on Easter Sunday.  

Mr. Briguera did acknowledge that the unprecedented oil spill in Mindorocould be one of the factors that will affect local fish production.  

Authorities are grappling with containing the spill and continued leakage from the sunken tanker that was carrying 800,000 liters of oil.   

Scientists have projected that the spill could reach as far as parts of Palawan in the west.  

But we do not see a shortage of fish on a national scale because of the oil spill,he said.   

The country produced 4.34 million metric tons of fish in 2022, up 2.16% from the previous year, based on Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) data. 

Mr. Briguera said expensive fuel costs and post-harvest losses continue to 

be among the main challenges in bolstering the fishing industry but stressed that the BFAR has been working to address these problems. Sheldeen Joy Talavera