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Another fish kill hits Lake Sebu

GENERAL SANTOS CITY – Around 7,000 kilograms of tilapia or St. Peter’s Fish were destroyed in another fish kill that hit parts of Lake Sebu in South Cotabato in the last three days.

Rudy Muyco, deputy fish warden of Lake Sebu, said yesterday the latest fish kill came as the lake’s dissolved oxygen dropped anew to the critical level following the onset of rains in the past several days.

Citing their monitoring, he said the fish kill started last Tuesday in fish cages in portions of Barangays Poblacion and Bacdulong.

He said the affected fish cage operators initially reported a total damage of 7,000 kilos as of Thursday afternoon.

“That’s just the initial report that we received. That could still change as our assessment is still ongoing,” Muyco said in a radio interview.

Muyco placed the value of the destroyed tilapia at P700,000 based on the prevailing market price of P100 per kilo.

This week’s fish kill was the second that occurred at the 354-hectare lake following the massive fish kill in late January that destroyed around P126.5-million worth of tilapia.

Three weeks ago, around P1 million worth of harvestable tilapia and fingerlings were wiped out due to a fish kill blamed on “kamahong,” a phenomenon caused by the sudden rise in the water temperature. Kamahong, which usually occurs during the rainy season, triggers the rise of sulfuric acid in the lake’s waters that eventually caused the massive fish kill.

Muyco said they advised the affected fish cage operators to immediately transfer their remaining tilapia stocks to adjacent fish ponds as the condition of the lake is still considered unstable. “The situation is really unpredictable and this might later affect the entire Lake Sebu,” he said. (PNA)

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