18 February 2015
In the morning of February 16, 2015, BFAR Region IVA received information from the Philippine Coast Guard (PCG) about an incident of fish mortality in Roxas Boulevard near the Manila Yacht Club. PCG estimated the volume of fish mortality at one (1) ton.
BFAR immediately deployed its Law Enforcement-Quick Response Team and the Fish Health Unit personnel from BFAR-IVA and the Central Office. At 11 in the morning, the composite team saw approximately 30 to 50 kilograms of fish of different species with mullet, locally known as “banak”—sizes ranging from 3 to 10 inches in length—as the dominant species. They immediately conducted water sampling in three sites for physico-chemical and microbiological analysis. They also collected fish samples for laboratory analysis.
Laboratory results of physico-chemical analysis revealed that low levels of dissolved oxygen (DO) and very high levels of ammonia were the main factors that contributed to animal stress which resulted in death. Necropsy showed very dark gills, a sign of overexposure to ammonia.
Ammonia is a chemical compound produced naturally from decomposing organic matter, including plants, animals and animal wastes. The ammonia in the water samples, however, might have also come from agricultural, domestic and industrial wastes.
The dead fish were collected and disposed of properly.
BFAR IVA Regional Office
BFAR Information and Public Relations Group