MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Health (DOH) on Tuesday warned the public against eating "double dead" fish, following the massive fishkill that has struck Taal Lake.
Some people in Batangas province are reportedly eating double-dead fish instead of throwing them away.
The DOH said people who eat such fish, even if cooked, will cause illnesses or even death.
The department said symptoms of illnesses related to eating double-dead fish include vomiting, dizziness, and parts of the body becoming swollen.
Lawyer Benjamin Tabios of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said fish that have died and floated on lakes or seas contain harmful bacteria.
He added that such fish can cause food poisoning.
Fish that died from a fishkill can still be used as fertilizer, according to BFAR.
More dead fish
Meanwhile, more dead bangus have ended up floating in Taal Lake in Talisay town, Batangas.
Another 200 tons of fish were estimated to have died, BFAR officials said.
The agency is now advising against the harvesting of the remaining milkfish in Taal Lake.
It also warned that it may take several more days before conditions at the lake normalize.
The situation has become a big problem for the Talisay government.
"Talagang economically displaced na ang munisipyo. Unang-una sa turismo, pangalawa naapektuhan pa mga fish cages namin," said town Mayor Zenaida Mendoza.
The disposal of the dead fish has yet to be completed.
Sacks of fish remain along the shoreline, with some still floating on the water.
Fishcage owners, however, assured the public they are only selling fresh fish.
"Ang ibinibenta namin ung mapula pa ang hasang, hindi yung malambot na," said fishcage owner Richard Co.
Local residents also said that they do not eat double-dead fish.
"Kumakain pa rin kami, alam naman namin kung alin ang hindi na dapat kainin, yung mga buhay pa na hinuli," said Jerphil Perez. - Reports from Winnie Cordero, ABS-CBN News; Erick Baldo, ABS-CBN Southern Tagalog