Early warning system to avoid fish kill proposed PDF Print E-mail
Tuesday, 14 June 2011 14:20

Senator Francis ‘Kiko’ Pangilinan proposed on Thursday that a similar early warning system for weather situation and volcanic activities should be used in the monitoring of water condition, especially in the Taal Lake, to avoid another massive fish kill in the future.

Pangilinan has urged the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) and the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) to look into the possible implementation of an early warning system that would minimize the devastating effects of fish kill.

The lawmaker learned during last Wednesday’s Senate hearing that the cost of damage of fish kill in Pangasinan and Batangas has already reached P200 million.
“An early warning system could minimize the damage to life and property. An early warning system much like what PAGASA and Phivolcs have would enable fishermen to harvest the spoils early and should enable them to do the necessary preventive measures to mitigate heavy losses,” Pangilinan said.

PAGASA stands for the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical and Astronomical Services Administration and Phivolcs for the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Pangilinan added that BFAR and DENR could enjoin fisherfolk in vigilance by providing them a hotline where they could report immediately fish kill incidence.

During the last Senate inquiry, fisherfolk representatives claimed that they noticed water discoloration two weeks before the massive fish kill.
Pangilinan also urged government officials to crack down on the illegally operated fish cages, including ‘greedy’ operators who overstocked their fish pens.
“This massive fish kill in Pangasinan and Batangas should serve as a valuable lesson to everyone that greed can backfire and cost unscrupulous owners a lot more than just their money,” Pangilinan said.

He said that permits of the abusive fish cage owners should be revoked and “their names should be blacklisted.”

”We cannot allow such groups and individuals undermine our industry and destroy the livelihood of our fisherfolk who depend heavily in this major agricultural sector. We cannot allow such people to destroy and plunder our rich and diverse aquaculture and mariculture and undermine our efforts at becoming food self-sufficient,” Pangilinan said. --