Isabela fishpond owners report fish kill due to drought

Isabela fishpond owners report fish kill due to drought

CITY OF ILAGAN, Isabela — A fish kill was reported to have caused tilapia fishpond owners to lose PHP200,000 worth of possible income here and in three towns of the province, an agriculture official said Monday.

Angelo Naui, Isabela Provincial Agriculturist, said they have been receiving reports that the drought has affected 1.15 hectares of fish ponds in this city and in the towns of Cabagan, Cordon, and Quirino.

“We hope that the losses will be minimal for the fish cage and fish pond operators,” Naui told reporters.

“The hot weather and low water level, both in fishpond and fish cage areas, speed up the decomposition process of organic matter and facilitate the release of harmful gases trapped in the pond or river bottom,” Emerson Tattao, aquaculturist of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Cagayan Valley, said in explaining the cause of the fish kill.

“The high temperature followed by sudden downpour in the afternoon also causes a highly stressful condition which can lead to mortality. The same can also cause an ‘overturn’ — a condition wherein cool and dense water rush to the bottom ,causing poorly oxygenated and turbid water to rise, causing instant death on stocks,” he added.

Fish cage operator Leonarda Oblarte said they fear that the fish kill would persist if the drought continues.

“We had been penniless and mired in loans due to our expenses in our fish cages. We pray that it will not last long,” she said. Villamor Visaya, Jr /PNA –