BFAR urges Taal fisherfolk to be responsible fish farmers
() - March 18, 2012 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - The Department of Agriculture, through the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR), urges all fish cage farmers in Taal Lake to take the necessary measures in preparation for an impending fish kill as the summer season begins. 

BFAR director Asis G. Perez warned some 900 fisherfolk during the recent Taal Lake Fisheries Stakeholders Forum to harvest early should there be signs of possible lake overturn, sulphur upsweeping, lowering of dissolved oxygen and possible fish parasite infestation.

 “These naturally occurring phenomena are usually affected by temperature changes especially in the warm months of April to June and during the rainy months, when typhoons occur,’ Perez said. 

Agriculture Secretary Proceso G. Alcala had instructed all heads of his department to be more pro-active in addressing the impacts of climate change to agriculture and fisheries commodities.

Alcala said that the Aquino administration puts high priority on the need to provide enough food for the growing population as well as to protect the livelihoods and incomes of small farmers and fishermen.

 Perez appealed to members of the Taal Lake Aquaculture Alliance Inc., comprised of more than 700 fisherfolk and feed millers, to police their ranks and to comply with all the guidelines embodied in the Taal Volcano Protected Landscape Management Plan of 2009. 

“Fish farming should be done in a manner that should not compromise the health of the lake’s waters. Overcrowding of fish cages, overfeeding and willful disregard to the prescribed fish cage size have been found as major causes of serious oxygen depletion resulting to fish kills,” Perez said. 

Last year, fish kills in Taal Lake occurred from May to June and affected more than two thousand tons of farmed fish with damages pegged at P148.5 million.

Over 7000 illegally-operated fish cages were also dismantled by a multi-government task force in compliance with the environmental limit determined by scientific studies of only six thousand fish cages in the entire lake. 

BFAR has lined up various strategies to reduce, if not prevent fish kill incidences in the area. These measures include heightening of its campaign towards responsible fish farming; the provision of technical and regulatory support to municipal governments in realigning and/or zonification of fish cages, and the regular water quality monitoring among others.

AGRICULTURE SECRETARY PROCESO G ALCALA ASIS G BUREAU OF FISHERIES AND AQUATIC RESOURCES DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE FISH LAKE PEREZ TAAL LAKE TAAL LAKE AQUACULTURE ALLIANCE INC
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