(UPDATE) The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported a fish kill in fishponds in Agoncillo, Batangas on Wednesday, affecting at least 29 tons of tilapia.
BFAR 4-A Director Sammy Malvas said the fish kill is due to low levels of dissolved oxygen.
“We did a water quality review and observed low levels of dissolved oxygen in the sampling sites in Agoncillo, Laurel and even Talisay,” Malvas said.
The acceptable dissolved oxygen level for seawater is 5 milligrams per liter (mg/l).
Malvas added that at least 43 fish pond operators in Agoncillo, Batangas were affected by the fish kill.
“Low dissolved oxygen usually occurs when there is a change in weather conditions. Last week, after sunny weather, we had rain,” Malvas explained.
Malvas added that the affected tilapia will be destroyed immediately as it has stopped consuming the fish kills to prevent a risk to public health.
“Damaged tilapia should not be sold in the market. We will bury the dead fish,” said Malvas.
Malwas assured that the fish kill will not affect the supply of tilapia in the local market.
“Actually, we don’t consider it a fish kill, we call it a death due to its small size.
Batangas supplies tilapia in Metro Manila. It is the largest producer of tilapia from freshwater cages and is next to Pampanga in terms of production of farmed tilapia.
The retail price of tilapia ranges from P110 to P150 per kilo, according to the Department of Agriculture’s Wednesday, August 11 market review in Metro Manila.