6 tons of tilapia die in South Cotabato fish kill

Francis Canlas, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Feb 22 2017 12:30 AM

6 tons of tilapia die in South Cotabato fish kill 1
Photo by Francis Canlas, ABS-CBN News

LAKE SEBU – Six tons of tilapia died in another fish kill incident in Lake Sebu town in South Cotabato.

The town's lake warden, Rudy Muyco, said the dead fish were worth about P500,000. The fish started to die on February 16, with 28 affected fish cage operators.

"Ang reported na fish kill is 6,000 kilos, ang fingerlings doon around 1,000 [kilos]," Muyco said.

According to the lake warden, the fish ran out of oxygen. Continuous rains last week caused the depletion of dissolved oxygen in the water.

Mayor Antonio Fungan said the local government will meet with more than 500 fish cage operators in the town on February 27, to discuss a proposal to reduce the effects of the fish kill.

"First is reduce to 10 percent iyong pag-utilize ng ating lake, second is off season for a while, either 1 year or 2 years, so iyung last is declaration ng moratorium," Fungan said.

Just last month, at least 1,300 tons of tilapia worth P124 million were destroyed in a fish kill.

A state of calamity was declared in the town, and the local government earmarked P1.6 million from the calamity fund to clean the lake.

For now, some fish cage operators resorted to farming on land while waiting for the lake cleanup to be finished.