Flooding causes P6-M initial damage to Dagupan’s milkfish industry

DAGUPAN CITY — The City Agriculture Office (CAO) here has recorded an estimated initial damage of PHP6 to PHP7 million in the milkfish (bangus) industry due to flooding caused by southwest monsoon rains intensified by Tropical Depression” Josie” and Tropical Storm “Inday” last week.

City agriculturist Emma Molina said in an interview on Wednesday that 978 fishponds in the city were affected, of which more or less 400 were severely affected.

“We are still validating the total damage. Some stocks may still be in the ponds and cages but loss may come in the next few days due to floodwaters. Pond inundation may cause silt deposits on gills and scales. These deposits may hinder breathing or prevent eating. Wounds (of bangus) due to silt may be infected and slowly cause weakening then death,” she said.

Molina disclosed that bangus price in the market has decreased from PHP130 per kilogram last week to PHP75 to PHP100 per kilogram depending on the size on Sunday.

She said that bangus sold in the market at present are from fishponds whose owners have harvested to save their capital, while some are caught by fishermen in the river.

Pictures of residents catching bangus with their nets in the middle of some flooded roads of the city have been circulating in Facebook.

City heath officer Ophelia Rivera said the bangus caught on the flooded streets are safe to eat as long as these are still fresh or caught alive.

“They just have to clean it very well and cook it well too,” Rivera said. Hilda Austria/PNA-northboundasia.com