CEPZ companies blamed for fish kill

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ROSARIO, CAVITE: Residents of this town have blamed companies in the Cavite Export Processing Zone (CEPZ) for a fish kill recently observed along the Maalimango River.

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Mayor Jose Ricafrente of Rosario reported that fisher folk started seeing various species of fish floating lifeless along the Maalimango River in Barangay Ligtong 4 in this town.

Ricafrente said he immediately dispatched his staff, police, and local health officials to investigate the source of the contaminants that caused the fish kill.

The probe sought to prevent whatever contaminant may be found in the water from spreading to other parts of the river. The town is coordinating with the Provincial Environmental and Natural Resources Office and the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in this effort, according to the mayor.

Different species of fish such as tilapia, alumahan, and tamban, were collected from the body of water and buried some distance away from the Maalimango River.

Ricafrente cited that residents believed that hazardous wastes dumped by companies in the CEPZ into the river might have caused the fish kill.

He added that the local government is already investigating companies shown to have violated procedures for disposing hazardous wastes. Local officials are also figuring out how to safely dispose of the said wastes, the mayor said.

The BFAR has already collected water samples from the river and is closely monitoring the state of the body of water.

Ricafrente said that the livelihood of fisher folk along the Rosario River would not be affected since only parts of the Maalimango River in Ligtong 4 are reportedly contaminated.

A fish kill last year was blamed on an oil leak originating from a nearby oil depot.

The BFAR also observed a fish kill along the Maalimango River in September and reported that high levels of chemical wastes caused it.

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