Lake Buhi fishfarms suffer P14.5-M loss due to fishkill after typhoon ‘Lando’

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Fish farms in Lake Buhi suffered another fishkill, just after the heavy rains brought by Typhoon “Lando.” The heavy rains dumped resulted in the upswelling at the bottom of Lake Buhi, causing a fishkill estimated at P14.5 million worth of cultured tilapia in fish cages, according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Bicol.

Director Dennis Del Socorro said the fishkill that occurred on October 19 wasted approximately 114 metric tons of cultured tilapia owned by 68 fish cage owners.

As the inclement weather condition dumped heavy rains into the lake, it stirred decaying matters at the lake bottom that caused the generation of ammonia and the depletion of oxygen content of the water, Del Socorro explained how the fishkill began and developed.

He said fishkill occurrences also happen during a long dry season when sudden downpour comes for consecutive days, followed by an abrupt change of weather to bright searing sun.

This disturbs the lake environment and causes fishkill like the one that happened in Lake Bato last year.

The biggest fishkill happened in Lake Buhi in October 2010 when 90 percent of 19,000 fish cages that were randomly erected across about 70 percent of the 1,650-ha lake area were affected, according to Ronilo Real, lake development officer.

BFAR Fish Health Section said that 2010 fishkill occured when “the lake’s dissolved oxygen was very low; the ammonia nitrogen level was very high in 11 stations monitored in the lake and high toxic traces of hydrogen sulfide was also detected.” (PNA / By John Mark Escandor)

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