Folks alarmed over‘fish kill’

Sun.Star Pampanga - - FRONT PAGE - BY PRINCESS CLEA ARCELLAZ Sun.Star Staff Re­porter

MASANTOL – Res­i­dents of a coastal vil­lage here and a lo­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal group were alarm over the fish kill along the stretch of the Pam­panga River in this town af­ter sev­eral dead fish were seen float­ing in the red-col­ored water.

BakaJuan Pres­i­dent Bart Aguinaldo, also a res­i­dent of coastal vil­lage Nigui, dis­closed that they have been notic­ing specks of red in the por­tion of the Pam­panga River for two weeks now.

On Fri­day, res­i­dents were alarmed af­ter dead fish, crabs and shrimps started float­ing in the river, fur­thered Agui nal do.

Com­pared to the re­cent fish kill ex­pe­ri­enced in this town in Oc­to­ber 2017, Aguinaldo de­scribed that “float­ing fish were fewer but water is more blurred and reddi sh.”

“We have been ob­serv­ing the water for two weeks now and it wors­ens every day. We can­not go fish­ing in the river again for fear that our catch are poi­soned. We are again los­ing our liveli­hood,” Aguinaldo lamented.

Aguinaldo, mean­while, dis­missed the pos­si­ble re­la­tion of the al­leged fish kill to the red tide warn­ing raised by the Bureau of Fish­eries and Aquatic Re­sources (BFAR) on the coastal wa­ters of Pam­panga and Bataan.

Aguinaldo as­serted that the toxin-af­fected wa­ters of Pam­panga River flow from the up­stream which, he claimed, is un­likely to be­come in­fected by red tide tox­ins de­tected in sea­wa­ters.

Aguinaldo said res­i­dents are sus­pect­ing that an al­co­hol plant in Apalit town dis­charged anew chem­i­cal wastes in the Pam­panga River which flowed down and al­legedly re­sulted to the fish kill.

The same fer­men­ta­tion plant was also the sus­pect of Masantol fish­er­men in caus­ing the mas­sive fish kill in their coastal town, but BFAR later re­ported hy­poxia or oxy­gen de­ple­tion as the cause.

Mayor Danilo Guintu, for his part, said that he al­ready or­dered an in­ves­ti­ga­tion, such as tak­ing of water sam­ples, to check on the ve­rac­ity of the re­port.

“I al­ready in­structed the Mu­nic­i­pal Agri­cul­ture Of­fice to see if this is an ef­fect of red tide, oth­er­wise we will do deeper in­ves­ti­ga­tion to find the cul­prit,” he stressed.

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