P4.5-M lost to bangus fish kill in Dagupan

AN initial P4.5-million worth of bangus (milkfish) was lost to fish kill last April 24 that hit fish pens and cages in Dagupan City, the Bangus Capital, due to thermal shock or sudden change of temperature.

City Agriculturist Emma Molina said three barangays were affected: Dupo, Pugaro Suit and Calmay.

“Technically, it was fish kill but not massive because these happened in shallow areas during low tide,” Molina said.

The temperature recorded on April 24 was 44.6 degrees Celsius and a drizzle followed on dawn of April 25, that resulted in the sudden change of temperature, she added.

Because of this, the bangus couldn’t take it and there was low dissolved oxygen that made overstocked bangus in fish cages compete in oxygen, Molina said.

Bangus growers were forced to harvest early to save their produce to cut their losses.

Molina said she has been monitoring the situation since the temperature started to rise last week and there was drizzle late evening which was then on high tide.

She said the fish kill happened because of the drizzle and the temperature was abnormally high, it reached 50 degrees Celsius.

Molina also blamed bangus growers for overstocking that usually aggravates the situation during fish kill.

“This has been a lesson we have been reviewing time and again on overstocking,” she said.

The city ordinance stipulates that a 70 square-meter fish cage, should only have maximum of 3,5000 pieces of bangus, and the growers exceeded the limit. (PhilStar Wire Service/ECV)

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