It has been reported that close to 800 tons of fish have either died or rotted in fish farms nea Taal volcano near Manila.
The fish deaths started last week. officials have stopped the sales of rotting fish which have started to be buried in the ground.
The deaths are unrelated to recent signs of restiveness in Taal volcano, which is surrounded by the lake where many villagers have grown milkfish and tilapia — staple food for many Filipinos, officials said. The volcano and lake are a popular tourist draw.
An agricultural officer said an initial investigation showed the deaths may have been caused by the temperature change as the rainy season set in last week after a scorching summer, which also depleted the lake's oxygen levels.
Schools of fish were seen swimming in circles before they floated dead to the surface in huge numbers. The deaths have occurred in the past at summer's end but in much smaller numbers, Mendoza said.
Some Taal lake areas turned white due to the massive numbers of dead milk-colored fish. Workers covered their noses with their hands or clothing Sunday as they scooped up the rotting fish and placed them into sacks.
More than 400 tons of milkfish have died in Talisay alone since Friday in 84 out of about 1,000 fish pens — lake areas about half the size of a basketball court which are fenced off by bamboo poles and nets. Damage has been estimated at $770,000 (33 million pesos), Mendoza said. About 400 tons more have died in the other towns.