The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Tuesday said that water quality in four oil spill-affected coastal areas in Cavite were within the normal range for fish to survive.
Citing results of the 3rd day sampling, BFAR Director Asis Perez said that the by Region 4A’s Fish Health personnel has found no traces of oil and dead fish in the sampling areas.
The monitoring team, Perez said, indicated that most of the water quality parameters—which include water temperature, salinity, acidity (pH), and dissolved oxygen level—measured in four sampling stations— were within the normal range for fish to survive
“Although the results of the water samples signify the survival of the mature fish with their ability to swim away from the spill by going deeper in the water or farther out to the sea, we recognize the extent of loss the oil spill has done to the juvenile fish population particularly those in their larval stages,” Perez said.
In line with this, Perez said that BFAR’s research unit National Fisheries Research Development Institute (NFRDI), in collaboration with UP-MSI and UP Visayas, will continue to initiate assessment mechanisms on the lingering effects of the oil spill on fish population and other marine life in the heavily-affected coastal areas of Rosario, Naic, Ternate and, Tanza.
While recent monitoring reports showed that the severity of the oil spill has decreased, the BFAR chief said that the composite group of Philippine Coast Guards and the bureau’s national and region IVA’s Law Enforcement-Quick Response Team (LEQRT) will also continue their sea-based and land-based monitoring operations which include advising local fisherfolk to fish outside the affected areas.
BFAR is likewise ready to provide assistance to the affected fisherfolk particularly those whose fishing gears have been contaminated by the oil slick depending on the need and extent of the damage, Perez said.
Based on BFAR record, Cavite contributes 2,763 metric tons in Calabarzon’s total marine municipal fish production of 36, 567 metric tons.
Earlier, Perez said the oil spill seemed to have migrated out in deeper waters towards the mouth of Manila Bay.
“We have monitored the oil spill moving in the boundary of Ternate and Naic near Daang Barko as caused by the wave action and wind direction,” Perez said.
He added that minimal fuel sheen was also spotted in the waters of Rosario indicating a probability that spill had dissipated already.
Another monitoring team deployed in Ternate, Cavite further reported that the spill appeared to have vanished as well. Ternate is the last coastal town in the Cavite side of Manila Bay. JAMES KOSNTANTIN GALVEZ