Philippines: Fishkill traced to rain, flood, sewage

By Tonette Orejas, 28th July 2015;

Rain, floodwater and sewage draining into the Pampanga River caused oxygen in water to drop to extremely low levels, killing thousands of fish downstream in Candaba, Masantol and Macabebe towns last week, according to a report of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

A water quality assessment conducted by BFAR revealed that dissolved oxygen (DO) in portions of the river fell between 1.28 milligram per liter and 1.41 mg/l, said Gonzalo Coloma Jr., the bureau’s fish health officer in Central Luzon.

The ideal level so fish can process oxygen and breathe is 5 mg/l.

High nutrient content

“The extremely low DO level obtained from Pampanga River may be due to the high nutrient content of water coming from the Upper Pampanga River, which originates from Nueva Ecija, Tarlac and Bulacan,” Coloma said in the report.

“This was evident by the presence of gray to brownish color of the water during the time of the sampling,” he added.

“This, together with the decaying organic materials like garbage and dead plants (particularly water lilies) at the bottom of the river, aggravated the condition of the water.”

Other possible contributors to the low dissolved oxygen level were sewage discharges from houses, commercial establishments, and poultry and swine farms along the tributaries of the Pampanga River, the report said.

Dead fish floating

Former Masantol Vice Mayor Marcelo Lacap Jr., who alerted the BFAR on the incident, said fishermen reported seeing dead fish floating as early as 5 a.m. on Thursday.

This was the first massive fishkill incident here since the 1990s when thousands of fish went belly-up due to wastes discharged into the river.

Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer

Philippines: Fishkill traced to rain, flood, sewage

Philippines: Mayor: Waste, water lilies caused Masantol fishkill

By Leslie Anne Mahusay and Chris Navarro, 27th July 2015;

The lack of oxygen at the Pampanga River due to waste and water lilies are the possible causes of the fishkill in the municipality recently, Masantol Mayor Dan Guintu said on Monday.

“The test results on the water sample from Pampanga River last Friday showed that various types of fish lacked oxygen because of wastes and water lilies, not because of harmful chemicals dumped from factories,” Guintu said.

He said the recent rains in the country caused the waste and water lilies from different neighboring towns to gather in low areas of Masantol town.

Yung mga basura na dahil sa baha halos sa amin lahat napupunta,” Guintu added.

He said that some towns in the province like San Luis, Apalit and Macabebe also experienced the fishkill but Masantol was seriously hit as it is surrounded by Pampanga River and Manila Bay.

The mayor pointed out that almost 10 barangays in Masantol were affected by the fishkill.

“We are now looking into help we can give to fishermen and their families because we ordered them not to fish at the Pampanga River for three days to avoid other incidents,” Guintu noted.

Guintu said that Governor Lilia Pineda also told the mayor that if there are other forms of assistance the provincial Capitol can give.

“Our governor told us to report on the total computation of the damages caused by the fishkill,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bajun Lacap, Pampanga coastal emergency response officer, said that Tilapia (Oreochromis sp.), Burasi (Common Carp) (Cyprinus carpio), Imelda (Bighead Carp) (Hypophthalmichthys nobilis) and Gloria (Black-chinned Tilapia) (Sarotherodon melanotheron) are some of the types of fish affected by the fishkill.


Philippines: Mayor: Waste, water lilies caused Masantol fishkill

Philippines: Folks want truth on river fishkill

By Princess Clea Arcellaz, 24th July 2015;

The people of Masantol led by Mayor Danilo Guintu and Coastal Emergency Response Officer Marcelo “Bajun” Lacap Jr. are now clamoring for the true reason behind the massive fishkill at the Pampanga River.

Several kinds of fish have been found dead, floating along the stretch of Pampanga River, particularly in this town for four days now.

“We already had this investigated and conducted a water test. According to reports, it was caused by pollution. We are waiting for further instructions now so we can act on this fishkill,” Guintu said.

He however stressed, that the alleged pollutants did not come from the town as there are no factories or possible polluting plants in Masantol.

Guintu also strongly reminded folks in Masantol not to eat any type of fish from the river until it is cleared.

Lacap, for his part, said that residents and fishermen in the coastal areas are suspecting toxic chemicals were disposed in the river which resulted to the fishkill.

“We are the lowest in terms of elevation in Pampanga. We are the catch basin so all of these flows here and severely affects us,” Lacap said.

Lacap urged authorities to release “only the actual results” of the water test conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) on Thursday.

“We hope they do not point a finger at us or blame people in the coastal areas like throwing garbage and making the river dirty,” he said.

“We hope they do not disregard possibilities that it [pollutants] came from nearby factories. What hurts is that they [BFAR, DENR] are the ones who issue permits to operate to the factories. We hope there will be no cover up or protect anyone,” Lacap stressed.

Source: Sun.Star

Philippines: Folks want truth on river fishkill