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Taal Lake towns lose P2.1M in fish kill

TANAUAN CITY At least 31 metric tons of tilapia were lost to a fish kill in Taal Lake, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic ResourcesInland Fisheries Research Station (BFAR-IFRS).

Based on a P70 per kg farm gate price, the fish kill had caused damages of around P2.1 million in the villages of Bañaga in Agoncillo and the villages of Leviste and Buso-Buso in Laurel.

The BFAR-IFRS estimated the fish kill affected 34 tilapia cages and five maliputo cages.

Leah Villanueva, BFAR-IFRS centre chief, however, said that the latest fish kill was not massive compared to previous ones, noting that the lake towns lost 3,700 MT of tilapia in 2005 and 1,700 MT in 2000.

She said that fish kills in the lake were usually common during the rainy months and local operators are prepared to handle the situation.

Villanueva said the BFAR had warned fish cage operators of the fish kill, enabling them to harvest their fish before these were wiped out. She said the level of hydrogen sulfide in Agoncillo, Laurel and Talisay towns was high and this could have caused the toxic gas emissions that depleted the lake’s oxygen supply, killing the fish. Decomposing organic matters, such as unconsumed tilapia feeds and domestic wastes, contributed to the high level of hydrogen sulfide, according to Villanueva.

Source: The Inquirer