'Taal Lake not poisonous despite fishkill'

ABS-CBN News

Posted at May 29 2011 01:53 PM | Updated as of May 30 2011 02:22 AM

MANILA, Philippines – Taal Lake remains uncontaminated despite the tons of rotten fishes that were seen afloat recently, the Batangas local government said.

Talisay Mayor Zenaida Mendoza said that the remaining fishes in the lake are still safe to eat.

“Safe ang isda,” she stressed, noting that it was not poison that had killed around 375 tons of dead milk fish (bangus) last Saturday, and the several more which have already appeared as early as Thursday.

“Hindi naman kasi poison ang dahilan ng pagkamatay,” she said.

The damage, which has affected the towns of Talisay, San Nicolas, Laurel and Agoncillo, among others, was approximately pegged at P33 million.

For health and sanitary purposes, the residents have already buried the dead fish.

Caused by climate change, volcanic quakes?

Talisay Municipal Agriculturist Zenaida Macatangay said the fishkill may have been caused by a "lake overturn."

“The oxygen level in the lake might have decreased due to changes in water temperature caused by the onset of the rainy season,” she said.

She added that the fishkill may have also been triggered by a series of recorded quakes from Taal Volcano starting Thursday.

Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs), on the other hand, clarified that the Taal Volcano's activity has nothing to do with the incident.

Meanwhile, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) wants to make sure the Taal lake does not pose danger to health.

It said that it has already started examining water samples from the towns where the fishkill had occurred – With a report from Carolyn Bonquin, ABS-CBN News Batangas