Thousands of dead milkfish and tilapia have surfaced the fish pens in towns in La Union.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region I said more than 7,000 fingerlings of milkfish have died in Baroro in Bacnotan, La Union.

BFAR said the number is expected to still increase.

Aquaculturist Rodel Villena said the low water level may be one of the reasons for the fish kill.

Meanwhile, in the village of Santa Rita West in Aringay, also in La Union, more than 8,000 tilapia died this month.

BFAR officials explained these fish kill incidents are not a result of El Niño, saying these incidents usually happen during the dry season from October to February when the lowest low tide levels occur.

Officials added they will provide assistance to affected fishpen operators.

--Reports from Mae Cornes, ABS-CBN News, La Union.