Oil slick drifting toward Manila Bay mouth: BFAR

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The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on Monday said it is continuously monitoring the waters affected by the oil spill in Cavite to determine its effect to marine life.

BFAR Director Asis Perez said the oil slick – initially affecting the coastal waters of Rosario, Ternate, Naic and Tanza towns – seemed to have drifted out to deeper water towards the mouth of Manila Bay.
“BFAR’s Monitoring, Control and Surveillance (MCS) patrol vessels, along with the Philippine Coast Guard, 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 that the oil could have dissipated.
Another monitoring team in Ternate reported that the slick there appeared to have vanished as well. Ternate is the last coastal town on the Cavite side of Manila Bay.
Water samples were collected from the areas of Timalan Balsahan in Naic, Amaya in Tanza and three sampling stations in Rosario near where tanker M/T Makisig is docked to determine dissolved oxygen level (DO), the presence of ammonia nitrite, Ph and salinity.
Initial monitoring showed no traces of ammonium nitrate, Perez said.

He said that the severity of the impact of an oil spill depends on a variety of factors, including the characteristics of the oil itself.
“Natural conditions, such as water temperature and weather, also influence the behavior of oil in aquatic environments. Various types of aquatic habitats have different sensitivities to oil spills,” he
said.
In open water, Perez noted that fish have the ability to swim away from a spill by going deeper in the water or further out to sea.
“Unlike swimming fishes, aquatic plants and animals that live closer to shore in areas that are covered and exposed by the tides such as young crabs, mussels, oysters, clams, seaweeds, burrowing organisms,
and nursery stages of fish suffocate when exposed to large amounts of oil,” he said.
Perez said that BFAR experts have collected samples of various fish species caught from the affected areas for laboratory analysis to examine if they are safe for human consumption.
While waiting for the result of the complete water quality and fish samples examination, BFAR is closely monitoring if local fisherfolk are catching and gathering any fishes and shellfishes, including crabs in the four affected areas, Perez said.
JAMES KONSTANTIN GALVEZ

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