Residents living along Taal lake catch fish as Taal volcano erupts in Tanauan town, Batangas province south of Manila on January 14, 2020.
AFP/Ted Aljibe
Public warned vs eating fish from Taal Lake
( - January 14, 2020 - 4:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The Department of Health urged the public to refrain from buying and eating fish from the Taal Lake following the eruption of one of the country’s most active volcanoes.

People who eat fish from the lake, which are possibly contaminated, could experience stomach ache, vomiting and diarrhea, Health Asec. Maria Francia Laxamana said.

“Meron tayong mga advisory na lahat ng nanggagaling dyan sa area ng Taal at Batangas, dapat wala nang bibili kasi di natin maaasahan ‘yung safety ng ating mga mamamayan,” Laxamana said in a press briefing Tuesday.

(We have advisories calling on the public to refrain from buying fish from Taal area and Batangas because we can’t assure its safety.)

Individuals who experience stomach pains after eating fish from the lake should immediately rehydrate and consult a doctor.

According to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, fish kill is expected in Taal Lake due to high sulfur content following the eruption. This may lead to the destruction of around 6,000 fish cages, with production loss estimated at 15,033 metric tons.

The ash and rocks that the volcano spew to the lake could also kill the marine life there, Renato Solidum, Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology director, said.

Taal Volcano remains under Alert Level 4, which means that hazardous explosive eruption is possible within hours to days.

Taal Lake is home to tawilis (Sardinella tawilis)—the only freshwater sardine in the world. Tawilis, an endemic species, has been listed as “endangered” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature.

Tilapia is also caught in the lake. 

The National Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Council, meanwhile, said the animals and plants on Taal island were killed after the volcano roared to life.

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