SINGAPORE: Two of the 12 fish farms that were affected by the massive oil spill more than a week ago have had their sales suspension lifted, said the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on Friday (Jan 13).
The farms, Tiberias Harvest and Singapore Aquaculture Technologies, are the first to have the suspension lifted, after completing their clean-up operations. They have also implemented measures like putting up canvas skirting and closed containment systems to reduce the risk of oil spreading into their farms.
"Fish samples collected from these two farms have passed our food safety tests," said AVA. It added, however, that one of the farms is still not able to resume sales of crustaceans like lobsters and crabs, "as food safety evaluation of the crustacean species is ongoing."
Since the oil spill on Jan 3, caused by a collision between two container vessels off Johor, AVA said its officers have been visiting coastal fish farms in the East Johor Straits daily to assess and manage the situation.
"The situation has improved significantly. Much of the oil has been removed from the farms. A few farms are still in the progress of cleaning up their stained farm structures and equipment, and putting in mitigation measures to prevent re-entry of residual oil," said AVA.
The sales suspension for the other 10 farms remains. AVA said it is helping the fish farmers in seeking compensation for their losses.