LAKE SEBU-- Around P800,000 worth of tilapia were lost in a fish kill which started last week in the town of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato.
According to Rudy Muyco, lake warden, 28 fish cage operators have reported losses of at least 100 kilograms of fish.
Nicolas Dueñas, one of the affected operators, was supposed to harvest fish this week but lost 200 kilograms of tilapia last Friday.
“Nung Thursday, nung araw na yun makulimlim, umuulan. Kompiyansa naman kami na hindi mamatay yung mga isda. Pero pagkagabihan na, yun, doon pala na short yung oxygen at bumaho yung, umaamoy yung tubig. Pagkaumagahan nandun na, lumutang na, patay na yung mga isda, ” he said.
(Last Thursday, the weather was cloudy and rainy so we were confident that the fish will not die. But at night, oxygen in the water fell short and the water started to smell. When we woke up, the fish were already floating dead.)
Most of the operators were forced to harvest and sell their tilapia to buyers but almost 10 tons of tilapia had already been lost.
Muyco said there was a depletion in the dissolved oxygen in the lake.
Mayor Antonio Fungan, however, clarified that tilapia harvested from the town’s lake are still safe to eat.
“Safe pa rin, pwede yun makain. Kaya lang yung forced na harvest kailangan talaga yun para yung damage hindi masyadong malaki,” he said.
(It is still safe and edible. The forced harvest was just necessary to control the damage.)