Biggest fish kill threatens Pangasinan waterway
Organic deposits one-foot to one-meter thick along the Caquipotan Channel, a body of water between the towns of Bolinao and Anda in Pangasinan, is threatening to turn the area into a fish kill zone, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.
The Philippine News Agency, quoting BFAR National Integrated Fisheries Technology and Development Center (NIFTDC) chief Westly Rosario, that one part of the channel had organic matter 32 centimeters thick on the bottom, and in the section from the steel bridge to Bolinao, more than one-meter deep.
Hundreds of floating milkfish pens and fish cages are found on the Caquipotan Channel.
Rosario said the water from north to south of the channel cannot be flushed because the organic matter, which came from unconsumed fish feeds and fish droppings, are rotting.
Rosario called for a moratorium on aquaculture activities and the removal of the organic deposits from the Caquipotan Channel.
If not the waterway is not allowed to rest, he said more fish kills could happen.
He said the fish cages could be transferred to the Lingayen Gulf or in mid-sea like what Norway does in raising salmon.
He said oyster props, beds and sticks could replace the fish cages since oysters and mussels, which have high commercial value both locally and abroad, help clean rivers of organic matters.
The biggest fish kill in the area happened in 2002.
Subsequent fish kills also took place last May 18-20.