Manila, Philippines --- More than P115 million worth of fish were lost in fishkill in Batangas and Pangasinan, the government said yesterday. Then in Pangasinan, the fishkill affected 108 fish cages and 39 operators. These fish cages are based in six barangays, namely Culang and Catubig in Bolinao, and Mal-ong, Awag, Siapar and Narra in Anda . Nine to 10 tons of bangus were buried from Anda and Bolinao.
In Dagupan City, Two tons of decaying bangus (milkfish) were buried at the city’s dumpsite Wednesday. While Ilocos Sur remains unaffected by Fishkill.
According to a local town agriculturist, the cause of the fish kill was a "sudden" climate change in the area. The common perception of fish death is linked to depletion of oxygen in water, which is caused due to a number of factors. Gases released from volcanic activities often lead to poor oxygen levels in nearby lakes, but scientists believe that the deaths are not related to activitities inside Taal volano, which is surrounded by the Taal Lake. However, they didn't rule out the possibility of a sudden drop in temperature for the cause of the deaths of millions of fish."
Unscrupulous vendors have been found to have painstakingly applied red dye on the gills of the bangus (milkfish) to conceal signs of spoilage and dupe unsuspecting consumers. So many checkpoints were established to monitor that there will be no dead fish that will be delivered and sell in the market to prevent eating affected fish that can cause abdominal cramps, itchiness around the mouth and tongue, vomiting, diarrhea and fever.
Meanwhile, the government wants local authorities to begin clearing up illegal fish cages around Taal lake to prevent another fish kill.
Presidential spokesman Edwin Lacierda said in a press briefing at Malacañang that the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG) is preparing to issue instructions to the PNP in Batangas province to begin dismantling illegal fish pens put up in Taal lake based on an assessment report from the Department of Environment and Natural Resources.
The DILG order is in line with an order from the Protected Management Area Bureau in 2009 recommending the lowering of the number of fish pens to 6,000 from an initial high of 14,000.