[Manila Bulletin] Pamalakaya argues against BFAR’s claim that dynamite fishing caused fish kill

Pamalakaya argues against BFAR’s claim that dynamite fishing caused fish kill
Updated October 16, 2019, 3:39 PM
By Dhel Nazario

After a massive fish kill hit the towns of Paranaque and Las Pinas, the coastal waters of the province of Cavite was not spared according to the national fisherfolk group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA).

A man collects thousands of dead fish washed ashore on Freedom Island along Manila Bay. Authorities are eyeing dynamite fishing, change of water temperature and low oxygen level as some of the possible causes that killed about 30 tubs of fish which were found along the coastline of Las Piñas and Parañaque cities Thursday morning (Photo by Ali Vicoy)

PAMALAKAYA National Chairperson Fernando Hicap refuted the claim of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) that dynamite fishing might have caused the death of about two metric tons of fish, he said during a radio interview over DZBB.

He explained that within the parts of the Bacoor Bay as well as Parañaque, the use of dynamite is no longer permitted since the area is being monitored by the Philippine Coast Guard. Hicap added that what happened was without a doubt due to poisoning since aside from fish, shellfish species were also affected.

At least two metric tons of fish — including sapsap, salaysalay, and salinyasi – were recovered dead at Las Piñas and Paranaque last week.

In a statement, PAMALAKAYA’s municipal chapter in Bacoor, the Alyansa ng mga Magdaragat sa Bacoor Bay, reported that coastal towns in Cavite were also affected by the water pollution, as mussels (tahong) and oysters (talaba) have been recovered dead from the mussel farms located in Bacoor City.

PAMALAKAYA and scientist group AGHAM called for a review and the transparency of the ongoing rehabilitation efforts of the national government in a form of feedback and report back mechanisms.

Hicap said that due to the incidents, the lives of thousands of fisherfolk are now affected. He appealed to the BFAR and local government units to support the livelihood of the affected fisherfolks in the form of economic aid and relief.

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