Proliferation of Hyacinth in Laguna Lake caused by lack of salt water – fisherfolk
Manila, Philippines – The fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA-Pilipinas) on Sunday blamed the excessive proliferation of water hyacinth in Laguna de Bay to the Napindan Hydraulic Control Structure (NHCS) in Taguig City that prevents the entry of salt water into the 90-thousand hectare brackish lake.
Towns of Binangonan and Cardona in the province of Rizal are now heavily surrounded by water hyacinths due to the “amihan” or northeast monsoon, affecting the waterways of thousands of fisherfolk who strive to sail out of the lake to do fishing activities.
PAMALAKAYA said saltwater that came from Manila Bay via Pasig River is essential to Laguna de Bay because it serves as nutrients to maintain the lake’s ecological balance and brackish water by nature is a combination of fresh and saltwater.
“Since the construction of the Napindan, various pests thrive in the lake, including water hyacinths, snake turtle, knife fish, and janitor fish. All these affect the livelihood of small fisherfolk because predator species such as knife fish and snake turtle prey on small fish preventing them to grow; while the water hyacinths obstruct the movement of fishing boats,” Fernando Hicap, PAMALAKAYA Chairperson said in a statement.
The group urged the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) to mobilize rehabilitation funds to support the affected fisherfolk in Laguna de Bay plagued by the water hyacinths.
Moreover, PAMALAKAYA reiterated its call to permanently open the Napindan structure and let Manila Bay and Laguna Lake waters mingle to rehabilitate the degrading lake and bring back its natural abundance. ###