BUHI, Camarines Sur -- The local government of this town finally declared a state of calamity on Friday after another incident of fish kill was reported along lake-bank villages of Cabatuan, Ibayogan, Tambo and Iraya, which is about 40 percent of the Buhi Lake area with commercial tilapia fish ages, where 178 fish- cage operators lost P43.8 million.
First-term Mayor Margarita “Margie” Moran Aguinillo appealed to lake stakeholders to make a concerted effort in addressing the worsening pollution in Lake Buhi, as a result of over-feeding of thousands of tons of tilapia stocks in fish cages, fattening them in just three to four months due to the demand of tilapia.
On Friday, an incident management team created by Mayor Aguinillo to assess the fish kill damage started to clean-up the lake, collecting an initial 14 sacks of dead tilapia which were buried at the town’s garbage site in Bgy. Salvacion.
Five incidents of fish kill have been reported in Lake Buhi, the latest of which was reported last Thursday.
Local tilapia whole-salers in this town reduced the price of tilapia from P50 to P20 per kilo amid public warning from local health and sanitary officials not to buy dead tilapia fish.
Earlier, Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) expert and spokesperson Nonie Enolva said a weekly water analysis at the lake registered the latest test at 1.25 ppm, with the lowest dissolve oxygen level fatal for marine creatures at the lake due to toxic gasses from suspected sulfur emission from Mt. Asog and the worsening pollution from decaying feeds at the bottom of the lake.
Officials of the Buhi Lake Development Office (LDO) earlier lamented that despite the dismantling of some 3,000 illegal fish pens in 2012, it is currently unclear how many new fish pens have been installed, occupying about 70 percent of the lake area.