Fishkill in Laguna Lake not caused by a virus — BFAR

Marje Pelayo

MANILA, Philippines — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Region 4A has reported that around 800 metric tons of fish died in Laguna Lake last week in the areas of Pililia and Binangonan, Rizal.

Region 4A Director Sammy Malvas clarified that the fish kill was due to the lowering of dissolved oxygen in the water and not because of any virus outbreak as some reports said.

“Kalimitan ang cause nyan ay iyong pabago-bagong weather condition natin. Halimbawa ay mainit sa araw tapos bandang hapon ay biglang bubuhos ang malakas na ulan, nagko-cause iyon ng pagbaba ng lebel ng dissolved oxygen, (Usually, the cause is the changing weather conditions. For example, the sun is up in the morning then in the afternoon, we have thunderstorms, that causes reduction in level of dissolved oxygen),” Malvas explained.

One of the viruses that can infect tilapya is the so-called ‘tilapia lake virus’ (TLV), a case of which was recorded three years ago in Bulacan.

There has been no recurrence of such incident so far according to Malvas, as they also conduct strict laboratory testing of fish seed samples before transporting them to other places.

“Nag-i-issue kasi tayo ng health certificate para doon sa transboundary movement ng mga buhay na semilya (We issue health certificates for transboundary movement of live fish seedlings),” Malvas said. 

The supply of tilapia at the Balintawak Market comes from Pampanga and Batangas and there has been no price increase. 

BFAR  assured that fish supplies in the market are safe to eat provided they are thoroughly cooked. MNP (with reports from Rey Pelayo)

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