Over 800 metric tons of milkfish and tilapia on fish farms have been discovered suddenly perished in the waters of five towns across Batangas province. Officials have banned the sale of the dead rotting fish, which are being cleared from the lakes and buried by the truck loads.
Investigation by the Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) reveals that the fish suffocated from lack of oxygen, brought on by climate change-related extremes of a scorching summer followed by a sudden drop in temperatures at the onset of the rainy season.
Other factors include deteriorating water quality due to pollutants. DENR Secretary Ramon Paje stated that the farmed fish are also kept in cages so crowded that they obstruct water flow, as he urged for better regulations. Measurements on May 30 found that the waters' oxygen levels were still depleted at 3.71 parts per million compared to a norm of 6 parts per million.
We are deeply saddened at this tragic loss of aquatic life, which is surely sending a clear signal about the condition of our planet. Let us act quickly in respect toward the fish and all beings to restore their rightful existence and the balance of our Earthly home.
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