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BFAR: Looming El Niño may affect fish supply in PH

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said the country's fish supply may be affected by the looming El Niño which could result in fish kills.

The BFAR said more than half of the fish production in the country came from aquaculture such as tilapia and bangus, according to Bernadette Reyes’ “24 Oras” report on Thursday.

“Magkakaroon ng pagbaba ng level ng tubig so mangnagahuluhan ito ng pagbaba rin ng dissolved oxygen at maaaring mangahulugan ng mga fish kill kung hindi natin magagawa ang mga kaukulang mitigating measures," BFAR chief information officer Nazzer Briguera said.

(There will be a decrease in the water level so this will also mean a drop in dissolved oxygen and may result in fish kills if we can't do the corresponding mitigating measures.)

“Hindi lang limitado yung laman ng mga cages kundi pinaglalayo natin yung mga cages natin kasi kung lumalapit siya then talagang magkakaroon tayo ng oxygen depletion,” Tugon Kabuhayan co-convenor Atty. Asis Perez said.

(It's not just that the contents of the cages are limited, fish also need enough space to avoid oxygen depletion.)

In Dagupan City, some fishermen stopped fishing due to the extreme heat, and only a few fish were caught.

The BFAR has yet to provide information on the possible effects of El Niño in the fishing industry this year.

In 2019, several studies showed that production losses may reach 20% due to the extreme heat.

Despite of the negative effects of extreme heat, it has benefits on the pelagic species such as tuna, sardines, galungong in which the production increases when the sea temperature is warmer.

The fisheries sector has been heavily affected as the country experienced El Niño in 1998.

Based on the data collected by the GMA News Research, the recorded damage to the fishing sector was over P7 billion.

Among the affected regions were Central Luzon, Western Visayas, and BARMM.

Meanwhile, the recorded damage from El Niño in 2018 to 2019 reached over P12 million. —Richa Noriega/ VAL, GMA Integrated News

Tags: BFAR, El Nino, news