DA allows fish harvest, feeding in Taal Lake
MANILA, Philippines — Aquaculture operators in Taal Lake in Batangas province have been allowed by authorities to tend to their fish cages despite a lockdown imposed within a 7-kilometer radius of the volcano’s crater.
Agriculture Secretary William Dar, in a statement on Wednesday, said fish cage owners could resume feeding and harvesting their stocks as water quality continued to improve following Taal Volcano’s steam-driven eruption on Jan. 12.
Dar said that tests conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources during the latter half of January showed that level of dissolved oxygen in the lake had improved and now below critical level.
Tests results also showed that sulfide level was within normal, while ammonia was still within critical level.
Also, the BFAR recommends that fish cage owners do not overfeed the fish to avoid accumulation of toxic ammonia.
The BFAR said tests on tilapia samples from Taal Lake indicated that despite the volcanic eruption, the fish did not ingest much sulfur.
Earlier, the Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance appealed to authorities to allow its members daily “window hours” when they could tend to their fish cages.
â€¨Mario Balazon, the group’s spokesperson, said about 70 percent of their members’ 6,000 fish cages withstood the eruption. Under normal conditions, these produced an average of at least 50,000 tons of bangus (milkfish) and tilapia yearly.
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