The estimated damage caused by the fish kill in Lake Sebu has reached P12 million, a phenomenon which a fishery official explained, could have been caused by the decrease in the level of oxygen in the body of water.
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) spokesperson Nazario Briguera confirmed on Wednesday that there has been a fish kill in Lake Sebu in South Cotabato affecting fish cages in the area.
“The fish kill was caused by the reduction in dissolved oxygen level in the lake. And this could be a result of the changing weather,” Briguera said in a public media briefing.
“The other cause of the fish kill is the increase in pollution level. But if we can recall, there was also a fish kill in Lake Sebu last year because of the fluctuation in dissolved oxygen level,” he added.
Briguera disclosed that one of the recommendations of BFAR is to regulate the number of fish cages in Lake Sebu to prevent overcrowding of fish.
“Since one of the possible reasons for fish kill is pollution, there could have been a lot of unconsumed feed in the area. It is also possible that there was a blockage in the flow of water that affected the circulation of water in the area,” he said.
Briguera said BFAR urged the local government unit involved in Lake Sebu to “seriously” implement the regulation of fish cages. Based on existing laws, Briguera explained that only 10 percent of a lake could be used in order to consider it as a sustainable fish practice.
“If we are not mistaken, at present, about 23 percent of Lake Sebu is now used for fish farming and this is not beneficial to the lake. That is why one of our interventions is the promotion of good aquaculture practices in the area,” he said.
Briguera pointed out that good aquaculture practices allow fish farmers to raise their productivity while making fish production sustainable.