[Philstar] Group seeks probe of Manila Bay fishkill

Group seeks probe of Manila Bay fishkill
Elizabeth Marcelo, Ralph Edwin Villanueva (The Philippine Star) – October 13, 2019 – 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines — Fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (Pamalakaya) yesterday called for a more “in-depth” investigation of the recent fishkill in Las Piñas and Parañaque, saying that the incident might have been caused by industrial factories operating nearby.

“The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) should conduct an in-depth investigation on the cause of massive fishkill that hit the south side of Manila Bay and affects the livelihood of fisherfolk,” the Pamalakaya said in press statement.

“We strongly suspect that this was due to ecological pollution, and whoever is responsible should be held accountable,” it added.

At least 30 tubs of dead fish valued at P700,000 to P1 million were found floating in the Las Piñas-Parañaque Critical Habitat Ecotourism Area (LPPCHEA) Thursday morning.

The BFAR, an attached agency of the Department of Agriculture, on Friday said the initial results of water sample testing showed that the fishkill was caused by poor levels of dissolved oxygen and high levels of ammonia and phosphates due to “excessive wastes” that might have come from agricultural, domestic and industrial sources.

The Pamalakaya said the recent incident casts doubt on the efficiency of the Duterte administration’s ongoing Manila Bay rehabilitation drive.

Pamalakaya also demanded that the BFAR and local officials in Las Piñas and Parañaque extend aid and livelihood support to the fisherfolk affected by the fish kill.

Oysters, mussels affected

Aside from fish and mussels, the fishkill also affected oysters, Parañaque agriculture chief Nilo Germedia said yesterday.

He said in a radio dzBB interview that almost all areas in the city where mussels and oysters are commonly harvested have been affected.

“The shells of mussels are mostly empty. They melted,” Germedia said.

He said the local government is looking into the possibility that dynamite fishing may have caused the fishkill.

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