Environment chief vows to dismantle fishpens in Laguna Lake

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
5 September 2007, at 1:00am

PHILIPPINES - Environment Secretary Lito Atienza plans to dismantle fishpens in the lake and conduct a thorough review of the functions and operations of the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA).

He says that he wants to restore Laguna de Bay into its pristine state.

"The lake's murky waters, the never-ending cycle of fish kills and red tide, including the bad taste of fishes caught in the lake, already prod us to undertake radical measures to save Laguna de Bay," said Atienza, in a statement published on the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) website.

He said that fishpens have already occupied most of the lake area and that excess fish feeds and their chemical content have "immensely contributed to the rapid degradation of the lake's condition."

"The situation is further worsened by the dumping of effluents into the lake after payment of fees to the LLDA. Laguna de Bay is dying and drastic efforts must be made to restore its ecological health," he added.

Aside from water pollution, the LLDA reported that the lake is now being threatened by rapid population growth, land conversion, displacement of endemic species, proliferation of janitor fish and over-fishing.