Philippines: Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) forms body to probe fishkill

By Nitz Arancon and Lito Rulona, 2014;

The Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) has created a water quality management group in response to the fiskkill at the Agusan River here last weekend.

A local envionrment official described it as one of the biggest fishkills in the city so far in recent years.

The group is headed by EMB with local government officials, including those in Manolo Fortich and Libona towns in Bukidnon and Misamis Oriental, serve as members.

The group was formed in order to look into suspicions that plantations, poultry farms and piggeries in Bukidnon, particularly the ones in Libona and Manolo Fortich, factored in the fishkill at the Agusan River on Saturday and Sunday.

City local Environment and Natural Resources officer Edwin Dael confirmed that it has been suspected that toxic wastes from the Bukidnon towns resulted in the fishkill.

Bisan ang mga isda sa suba sa Balubal, patay man gihapon,” said Dael. “Ma-o na kini ang labing dako nga fishkill so far sa Cagayan de Oro kay ti-aw moy duha ka adlaw.”

The dead fishes were mostly anga (Red-tailed Goby) (Sicyopterus lagocephalus), banak (mullet) (F. Mugilidae), tangkig (eel) (Anguillidae or Synbranchidae) and pigok (Tapiroid Grunter) (Mesopristes cancellatus) that are endemic in Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Oriental.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) took water samples from the Agusan River for examination.

Mayor Oscar Moreno has called on the EMB and BFAR to speed up the investigation to determine what really caused the fishkill.

Dael said fishkills have been taking place in the city in recent years but the result of any investigation has not been made public.

He said Moreno directed him to closely coordinate with the EMB and make sure that the Bureau would act on the matter.

“We asked the EMB director to call for a meeting this week and conduct and investigation. Mayor Moreno said he wants someone to answer for the fishkill and that the EMB should file cases in the event that those responsible are operating outside the city,” said Dael.

Source: Mindanao Gold Star Daily

Philippines: Environmental Management Bureau (EMB) forms body to probe fishkill