Yes, Harry Roque, 'tilapia' can be found in Manila Bay
A bulldozer is seen working on the "white sand"—actually crushed dolomite rocks—poured along the shoreline of Manila Bay on September 6, 2020.
The STAR/Miguel de Guzman
Yes, Harry Roque, 'tilapia' can be found in Manila Bay
Ratziel San Juan ( - September 19, 2020 - 6:44pm

MANILA, Philippines — The recent fish kill near Baseco and its alleged link to the government's controversial Manila Bay white sand project is only the latest issue to hound the Duterte administration as the COVID-19 pandemic ensues.

Asked yesterday about its reaction to the Department of Environment and Natural Resources not discounting the possibility of sabotage in the fish kill, the Palace brought its own suspicions to the table.

Presidential spokesperson Harry Roque on Friday doubted the presence of tilapia in Manila Bay, suggesting that the phenomenon could be part of a smear campaign by the opposition against President Rodrigo Duterte.

“Pero ang nakapagtataka nga, bakit ang tilapia, freshwater fish iyong nakarating sa Manila Bay. Parang imposible naman iyon ‘no dahil hindi po mabubuhay ang tilapia sa saltwater. So ingat-ingat lang po tayo sa panahon ngayon desperado po ang kalaban ng gobyerno, lahat po ginagawa para siraan si Presidente Duterte,” Roque said in a Friday press briefing.


However, research from the National Fisheries Research and Development Institute confirms that tilapia do indeed habitate the Manila Bay.

The occurrence of invasive black-chin tilapia "Sarotherodon melanotheron" was first reported in the bay in 2015 by a group of researchers, including fisheries scientist and marine biologist Mudjekeewis Santos, Ph.D.

“Opo, merong ‘tilapia’ sa Manila Bay...Pero hindi po ito yung tilapia na cultured sa freshwater fishpond sa Pilipinas gaya ng Oreochromis niloticus. Ito ang Sarotherodon melanotheron na may local name na ‘tilapiang Gloria,’ dahil daw sa parang nunal nito sa pisngi, katulad ng kay dating Pangulong Gloria Macapagal Arroyo,” Santos posted Friday.

“Bago lang ito nakita sa Pinas at hindi pa alam kung paano napunta ang mga saltwater-tolerant, invasive species na ito sa ating bansa.”

F(ish)YI !!! Opo, merong “tilapia” sa Manila Bay !!!  Pero hindi po ito yung tilapia na cultured sa freshwater...

Posted by Doc Mudjie on Friday, September 18, 2020

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