BFAR: Massive fish kill in Cavite caused by algal bloom

By Ma. Teresa Montemayor

November 16, 2023, 8:31 pm

MANILA – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Thursday said the massive fish kill which occurred in Cañacao Bay in Cavite City was caused by algal bloom.

Algal bloom is a natural phenomenon which happens when micronutrients increase in water, causing increased micro algae formation. As micro algae increase, dissolved oxygen which is much needed by fishes, becomes depleted.

“Natural phenomenon po iyan. Hindi natin alam kung kailan yan susulpot at kailan rin mawawala (That is a natural phenomenon. We don’t know when it will start and when it will end),” BFAR Information and Fisherfolk Coordination Unit head and spokesperson Nazario Briguera said in Bagong Pilipinas Ngayon interview.

“Ang tanging puwede lamang natin gawin ay magkaroon ng continuous monitoring sa water quality (What we can do is have a continuous monitoring of the water quality),” he added.

Since the algal bloom only killed blackchin tilapia, Briguera said the fishing industry and the fishing activities in Manila Bay will not be affected.

“Hindi po ito farmed tilapia at wala po ito masyadong commercial value. So, in terms of fishing activities, tuloy pa naman yung mga mangingisda natin sa Manila Bay at dun lang naman sa Cañacao Bay nangyari ito (These are not farmed tilapia and they do not have much commercial value. So in terms of fishing activities, our fishermen continue fishing in Manila Bay because only Cañacao Bay was affected),” he said.

Briguera also clarified that the fish kill cannot spread to nearby areas because algal bloom is a natural phenomenon that could be attributed to abrupt change in temperature and not water pollution.

Over 200 sacks of dead fish have been collected in Cañacao Bay, causing some families in the area to evacuate due to foul odor. The stench kept them from eating and sleeping properly.

“We will continue to extend the necessary technical assistance. As for the affected families, we learned that the local government unit responded immediately,” he said. (PNA)