Massive Taal Lake fishkill probe urged

June 1, 2011

Marlon Purificacion
Abante Online
June 1, 2011

SENATOR Loren Legarda has sought for an investigation by the Senate on the reason behind the recent massive fishkill in Taal Lake.

Legarda filed Senate Resolution 498 to direct the Senate committees on agriculture and food, environment and natural resources, and climate change to immediately conduct an inquiry on the matter as over 700 metric tons of milkfish and tilapia, worth approximately P57.226 million, have been killed in the different fish cages surrounding Taal Lake since May 26.

“The fishkill reportedly affected as much as 27% of the fish supply of Metro Manila and will certainly affect majority of the fisherfolk from the lakeside communities of Taal who depend primarily on fishing for their subsistence,” she explained.

According to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), the fishkill was caused by an overturn wherein moderate to heavy rains made the surface water of Taal Lake cold and dense, which in turn forced the deep hot bottom water containing pollutants to rise, heating the fish cages thereby depriving the fish of dissolved oxygen.

The BFAR also said that the recent fishkill in the Kakiputan Channel in Bolinao and Anda towns in Pangasinan was also caused by these changes in temperature.

Senator Francis “Kiko” Pangilinan, on the other hand, has called on the local government units and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources to provide assistance to turn the fishkill into an opportunity to produce feeds and fertilizers when applicable.

“We may still turn this fishkill around if the fish are still not rotten. These can be harvested and dried and be turned into feeds,” Pangilinan said.

Pangilinan, chairman on the Senate committee on agriculture and food, added that coordinated efforts between the LGUs and the Department of Agriculture can “turn this fishkill as a means to save cost for farmers on animal feeds.”

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