Phillippines see 800 tons of dead farm fish in mass die-off

Jun 04, 2011 12:00 AM

by Jonathan Benson

More mysterious animal deaths have surfaced, this time in a volcanic lake in the Philippines. Reports say that 800 tons, or 1.6 mm pounds, of fish have turned up dead in a lake near the Taal volcano, which is located south of the capital city of Manila.
Officials say the deaths may have been a result of sudden temperature change in the water.

The recent rise in seismic activity around the volcano, however, is allegedly unrelated to the fish kill, say officials. Though there were 115 earthquakes detected around Taal, which is a sharp spike from the normal 10 to 15 that typically occur, and a steady overall rise in seismic activity in the area in recent weeks, experts from the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PIVS) insist this coincidental incident is not at all connected to the fish deaths.
"If the dissolved oxygen drops and it rains, the fish cannot breathe and it dies," said Rosario del Mundo from the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR).

She and others link heavy end-of-summer rains to the kill, noting that temperatures have dropped rapidly in recent weeks. This explanation also conveniently allows experts to blame "climate change" for the deaths.
Since April, seismologists have been observing a steady rise in seismic activity at Taal, which suggests that magma is rising within the volcano. Volcanologists have been watching the volcano closely for months, and have instructed visitors to avoid area trails and parks because steam and magma explosions could occur at any time (http://www.gmanews.tv/story/218689/regions/taal-activity-intensifies-17-quakes-noted-in-last-24-hrs).

As far as the fish are concerned, government officials have banned the sale of any of the dead fish, and workers have been steadily disposing of them, according to reports. Losses are estimated to have already topped $ 770,000, which has prompted much mourning in the region.
Milkfish and tilapia, two of the primary fish raised in the lake, are staple food items for Filipinos, as well as a considerable part of their livelihood.

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