Tons of tilapia die in Lake Sebu fish kill

Francis Canlas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Mar 08 2017 10:27 PM

Another fish kill hits Lek Sebu. Photo by Rudy Muyco

LAKE SEBU - Four and a half tons of tilapia worth P405,000 were lost in a fish kill in the town of Lake Sebu, South Cotabato. 

According to Rudy Muyco, the town’s lake warden, they discovered the fish kill Tuesday afternoon.

Muyco said they had been experiencing light rains since Saturday, which caused the depletion of dissolved oxygen in the lake.

Six fish cage operators were affected.

“Malalaki na ang isda, mga three to six months na. So, as of yesterday, dalawang fish cage operator at nadagdagan pa ngayon ng apat,” said Muyco.

Some fish cage operators, including Jennifer Estares, were forced to harvest their fish. 

“Hindi na namin mahulaan ang panahon ngayon. Baka kung magtuloy-tuloy pa ang ganitong panahon, baka hindi na namin mapakinabangan,” he said.

Mayor Antonio Fungan hopes to end the recurrence of fish kill in the lake by issuing a memorandum order on the allowable aquaculture zone in the municipal waters of Lake Sebu.

The local government unit said it will monitor and strictly prohibit the trading and/or stocking of fingerlings until the lake’s condition stabilizes.

“Hindi pa natin alam ilang months, 6 months ba or after or more than 6 months. Until such time na water sampling muna tayo,” said Mayor Fungan.

They will also demolish fish cages and other structures in the lake outside the 10% aquaculture zone.

They will give fish cage operators 20 days to demolish their fish cages.

In January this year, more than 1,300 tons of tilapia worth more than P120 million were destroyed in the biggest fish kill in the town.

Another one occurred this February, killing 5 tons of tilapia worth half a million pesos.