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Fish kill hits Laguna Lake

 

By MARVYN N. BENANING

Manila, Philippines –The fish kill that has hit Jala-Jala, Rizal and Calamba, Sta. Cruz, and Pakil, all in Laguna, is a critical problem caused by the deteriorating water quality in the 94,900-hectare Laguna de Bay.

Moreover, it shows the lake ecosystem has gone from bad to worse, prompting both the Laguna Lake Development Authority (LLDA) and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to work together in crafting a longterm solution to the problem.

LLDA said late on Monday afternoon that general manager and presidential adviser for environmental protection Neric Acosta is collaborating with BFAR national director Asis Perez to check the spread of the fish kill.

“The fish kill in the areas of Jala-Jala, Rizal and Calamba, Sta. Cruz, and Pakil, Laguna is a serious indication of the critical state of the Laguna Lake’s ecosystem,“ Acosta said.

Fish kills occur when the dissolved oxygen in the water is low, meaning that it could not support the fish in the open waters for capture fisheries and in the fish cages and pens.

With increased fish population requiring higher oxygen levels, a polluted lake that harbors feeds that settle in the shallow bottom would eventually lead to a fish kill.

The 94,900-hectare Laguna de Bay is the country’s biggest, but it is also home to hundreds of fish pen and fish cage operators who supply up to 70 percent of the fish requirements of the National Capital Region (NCR).

Under the Fisheries Code, also known as Republic Act No. 8550, fish pens and cages are limited to only 10 percent of all inland waterways, including lakes.

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