Fishkill destroys P52.5 million worth of tilapia stock in Camarines Sur town
CAMARINES SUR, Philippines—A two-week old fishkill has hit 70 percent of 18,770 tilapia fish cages in Lake Bato, affecting an estimated P52.5 million worth of tilapia stock, the Municipal Agriculture Office said Wednesday.
Alejandro Pili, agriculture officer, in an interview, said the fishkill, which started May 7, was triggered by a sudden downpour that pushed down the mass of decaying planktons to the bottom of the lake.
A fishcage has a minimum of 40 kilos to a maximum of 100 kilos of mature tilapia stock, according to Pili, but he could not give exact figures on the value of the losses since the fishkill started.
“Only three personnel are monitoring the fishkill,” said Pili.
The cost of affected tilapia stocks, however, could be estimated at P52.5 million considering the minimum of 40 kilos per fishcage affected, which could fetch a minimum price of P100 per kilo prevailing in the public market.
The 2,810-hectare Lake Bato is surrounded by three villages in Libon, Albay and 16 villages in Bato, Camarines Sur, based on information provided by Pili. There are 205 fish cage owners registered in the municipal agriculture office.
He said the cause of the fishkill was depletion of oxygen in the water as microorganisms caused the decay of planktons that were brought down to the bottom of the lake during the sudden downpour after a long searing hot weather.
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