LEGAZPI CITY: Recurring fish kills in Lake Buhi arising from depleted oxygen levels has struck a devastating blow t the livelihood of more than 1,000 fishermen in Camarines Sur—P3 million worth of tilapia was lost, according to an official of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) regional office here.
Ranilo Leal of BFAR Bicol said that P3 million worth of tilapia were turned up dead in Lake Buhi after oxygen levels in the lake water dived to depletion level.
The latest fish kill occurred on August 20 to 21, he said.
Lake Buhi fish kills occur almost yearly because of dwindling oxygen levels and environmental degradation that, in turn, stem from an increasing number of fish cage operators.
Data from the Buhi municipal government in 2007 showed there were 15,597 registered fish cages that occupied 226 hectares of the 1,707-hectare lake.
Recent data show over 90 percent of the lake had been occupied by fish cages, contrary to the 10 percent prescribed by law. Lake Buhi has an area of 18 square kilometers with an average depth of 8 meters.