BFAR solutions vs knife fish: Remove, destroy eggsBy Leila B. Salaverria
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Collecting and harvesting of knife fish eggs could stop the spread of what was described to be an invasive species in Laguna Lake.
Asis Perez, head of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), said findings made by the agency’s National Inland Fisheries Technology Center showed knife fish could spawn naturally in the lake and its eggs stick to bamboo poles and stakes of fish pens and cages.
Removing and destroying knife fish eggs would greatly reduce their numbers, Perez said.
“A clump of eggs may number several thousands and if we would be able to get rid of these, we will be more effective in significantly reducing the knife fish population in the lake,” Perez said in a statement.
Authorities earlier raised concerns about the growing knife fish population in Laguna Lake and noted that they are competing with native fish in the area. The increase in knife fish population has apparently resulted in reduced catch of local fish such as tilapia, bangus, carp and ayungin.
Knife fish is a carnivorous species that eats other types of fish and smaller marine animals.
The BFAR said that based on catch estimates by local fishermen, knife fish can make up some 30 percent of their total harvest. Each fish can weigh from 10 to 20 kilos.
And with fishkills occurring apparently because of the transition from dry to wet season, the problem is compounded.
Asis said the BFAR has teamed up with the Laguna Lake Development Authority to better address problems plaguing the country’s largest lake and which affect the livelihood of fishermen.