Fishers want probe on the ‘discoloration’ of Manila Bay
Manila, Philippines – “The DENR should get to the bottom of this. In case, on whatever establishment or entity responsible for a possible pollution discharge should be held accountable over violation of the government’s very own rehabilitation drive of Manila Bay,” This was reaction of the national fishers’ group Pambansang Lakas ng Kilusang Mamamalakaya ng Pilipinas (PAMALAKAYA) after photos of some parts of the water of Manila Bay in Roxas Boulevard that turned turquoise went viral over the social media.
The fisherfolk group raised fear that pollutant materials by an establishment were dumped into the Manila Bay, as the discoloration was same with the chlorination of swimming pools, which the group said could be lethally hazardous to the marine environment resulting to ecological disturbance such as fish kill.
PAMALAKAYA has ruled out the possibility that it was algal bloom, as the water was clear and did not show any indication of an algae.
“The color of the water can be likened to a swimming pool that underwent chlorination, thus we can’t set aside a possibility that some establishment carried out tank cleaning and outrightly discharged the toxic cleaning chemicals into Manila Bay,” Jerwin Baure, PAMALAKAYA resident fisheries expert said in a statement sent to media outfits.
Baure, also a member of progressive scientist group AGHAM, urged the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to conduct water sample testing and study the possible impacts to the fish and other marine organisms in the area.
“This abrupt change in color of Manila Bay does not seem natural and should not be attributed to the enhanced community quarantine. Whether this could be attributed to the discharge of chemical effluents or harmful algal blooms caused by warm temperature, the recent event could lead to far worse consequences opposite to ‘self-healing’. For a eutrophic yet polluted body of water like Manila Bay, marine rehabilitation will take years and won’t happen drastically over a period of a lockdown,” Baure, a fisheries graduate in University of the Philippines (U.P.) Visayas explained.
PAMALAKAYA said it’s already coordinating with local fisherfolk in Manila if they notice something unusual in their fishing activities after the phenomenon. ###