Relax! Pampano, Salmon Fish Ban At Palengkes Has Been Postponed

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There's no need to panic about whether you can still buy pampano for pinangat for or salmon for your baked sushi for the holidays at the palengke! You still can! 

There are concerns over the ban, including how to implement an order over 20 years old, according to a news report by the Philippine Star, and thus, the ban is on hold and not being implemented yet.  Department of Agriculture (DA) deputy spokesperson Rex Estoperez said in the report, "Maybe this is not suitable for us now. We have to amend or we have to improve whatever is needed here". According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) press release last November 24, the imported fish ban for wet market or palengke vendors is supposed to be effective today, December 3. 

Did You Know There Is Local Pompano? 

pompano fish isda pomfret
This pampano dish is made using lots of fresh tomatoes.
Photo by Mira Angeles
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However, times have changed since this order was first signed. Not only that, did you know that there is locally sourced silver pompano in the country that are not imported? In this 2015 report from the Inquirer, there are pampano hatcheries in Bolinao, Pangasinan as well as in Mindanao. These fish are allegedly hardier than bangus or milkfish. 

While it may be true that salmon is definitely an imported fish and can be subject to the order, pompano is one fish that can still show up in your local palengke without being banned or confiscated. 

What The Order Says 

wet market palengke fish isda on sale
The imported fish ban is postponed.
Photo by Shutterstock
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The Fisheries Administrative Order No. 195, known as the "Rules and Regulations Governing Importation of Fresh/Chilled/Frozen Fish and Fishery/Aquatic Products", places limitations on imported fish. The BFAR originally gave vendors selling these kinds of fish until December 3 to sell their inventory of imported fish, particularly, pampano and salmon, or else face these fish being confiscated. 

However, it should be made clear that palengke vendors are actually allowed to sell imported fish, provided that these were obtained properly for selling within the rules and regulations set by the order. 

The BFAR campaign called "Imported na Isda Sa Merkado, Pwede Kapag AWTORISADO!" started last November 24, Thursday, and was supposed to run until December 3, Saturday. The campaign had specific goals which included educating vendors about the soon-to-be-implemented order which include encouraging them to not sell imported fish products intended for another use and preventing the original buyers from selling these unauthorized fish to wet market vendors. 

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You can read a PDF of the full text of the order here.

Thinking about what to cook next? Join our Facebook group, Yummy Pinoy Cooking Club, to get more recipe ideas, share your own dishes, and find out what the rest of the community are making and eating!

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