SOME P20 million of fish (bangus, malaga, talakitok and others) died in a fish kill that happened starting April 24 in the rivers in Barangays Calmay, Lomboy, Salapingao, Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset starting April 25.
“Masyadong maliit ang P20 million, sir,” said fish farmers who came to The PUNCH before deadline to report about the fish kill which City Agriculture Officer exacted a damage of only P4.5 million.
Tons of dead fish are now floating in the mouth of the Calmay river between Barangays Pugaro and Bonuan Gueset, he said.
The fish farmer said the fish kill was not only caused by the change of temperature from hot to cold but also the lower salinity of the water which caused algae to die. It is in the algae which the bacteria in the water feed on, he added.
As a result, the bacteria were to compete with fishes for the already depleted dissolved oxygen which caused the fish to die.
He said there are more than 2,000 fish pens and fish cages in all the rivers in Dagupan and on top of that, the operators are overfeeding their fishes in captivity.
He said that not all the feeds thrown to the fish are eaten by them. The excess feeds dropped in the water where they rotted.
When it rained beginning April 25, the excess feeds not eaten by the fish surfaced causing pollution in the water. The fish kill that happened was largely due to this factor.
Warning that more fish kills are expected in Dagupan, the fish farmer deplored the unregulated construction of fish pens in all the rivers. Some of the fish pen operators, he said, are wealthy businessmen, a few are Chinese. (Leonardo Micua)
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