Bad weather, heat trigger Bulacan fishkill
OBANDO, Bulacan — Cloudy skies followed by extreme heat depleted oxygen in fishponds here, killing “bangus” (milkfish) worth P30 million over the weekend.
The shift in weather, referred to by local fishermen as “alimuom,” was detected on May 4 and which could have triggered the fishkill in ponds in Barangay Pag-asa, Paliwas, Hulo, Lawa, Paco, Tawiran and Salambao, said Freddy Sta. Maria Jr., municipal agriculturist.
Low tide aggravated the problem because no water current replenished the water oxygen of the ponds. But the condition had started to normalize, based on water samples tested on Monday by the Obando agriculture office and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources.
As of Tuesday, the municipal agriculture office was validating reports that four more villages had encountered fishkill.
Gloria Carillo, Bulacan provincial agriculture officer, said her office was also studying whether the fishkill had any connection to an Intensity 3 earthquake on May 5.
She said fishpond caretakers reported foul odor from the ponds when fish started floating on the surface. Shortly before noon on May 6, a big number of milkfish were dead. —Carmel Reyes-Estrope
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