Gov. Vilma Santos, other Batangas officials allay fish kill scare

Batangas governor Vilma Santos-Recto on Tuesday led provincial officials in feasting on bangus (milkfish) and tilapia to send a strong message to the public that these kinds of fish are safe to consume despite recent incidents of fish kill in Taal Lake.

Hindi ito pang-showbiz. Ang sa akin lang, marunong po kayong pumili ng isda… Please continue to eat fish," said Santos-Recto, a former actress, in an interview aired over GMA News’ “24 Oras."

Santos-Recto also urged Batangas residents to protect Taal Lake and keep it clean, noting that it has been used as “septic tank" by some resorts and piggeries in the province.

Maraming problema diyan… Maraming resorts diyan, maraming babuyan diyan na ginagawang septic tank ang Taal Lake," she said.

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No fish kill incident was recorded in Taal Lake on Tuesday, although several dead fish could still be seen floating on it, GMA News’ Rawnna Crisostomo said in her report.

The report quoted Batangas officials as saying that the dead fish seen Tuesday were leftovers from Monday’s fish kill incident. Owners of fish cages have been ordered to remove dead fish near their respective areas.

The fish kill incidents in Batangas and Pangasinan have prompted authorities in Metro Manila to keep watch against unscrupulous vendors mixing the dead fish with fresh catch to sell in markets.

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources said there are four factors in a fish kill: Oxygen depletion, pollutant toxin, natural toxins, and disease from bacteria.

Estimates by the National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council (NDRRMC) showed the fish kill in Batangas and Pangasinan caused at least P184.666 million (1,925 metric tons) in losses. — KBK, GMA News

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