The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region III said that the intense heat last May 6 led to P29-million worth of losses for 40 fish pen operations in Obando, Bulacan.
In a statement on Friday, May 11, BFAR said that the 34 °C temperature and the 0.050 low tide levels affected 130 hectares of milkfish farms, or 250 metic tons of fish the day after, on May 7.
“Light rain showers, prolonged cloudy skies and thermal fluctuations in the water due to changing weather conditions have been found to be the causes of dissolved oxygen depletion which, in turn, caused the fish kill,” Its statement read.
However, BFAR said that there was already a high chance of fish kill prior to this, with the milkfish farms stocking more fish than the recommended 3,000 fish per hectare.
As of the latest price monitored by BFAR on Wedneday, the fish kill will not affect its market prices, as Obando is not the only source of milkfish.
The Department of Agriculture agency said that the low supply of both milkfish and tilapia in Obando will only be temporary, noting that they expect the farms to recover quickly.
Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel F. Pinol on Thursday said that the fishkill in Obando “has a minimal” effect to the fisheries sub-sector in the second quarter. — Anna Gabriela M. Mogato