MANILA, Philippines – "No traces of oil and dead fishes."
This was the finding of government scientists who examined the waters from different areas in the towns of Rosario and Naic in Cavite that were affected by the Petron oil spill
In a bulletin released on Tuesday, August 13, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said "water quality indicators" – like water temperature, acidity (pH), salinity, and dissolved oxygen level – were "within the normal range for fish to survive."
BFAR Region IV-A's Fish Health personnel got samples on August 11 from 4 sampling stations: 3 in Rosario and one in Naic.
The results also indicate that mature fish can survive from the oil spill by swimming deeper in the water or farther out to sea. But BFAR acknowledged that the same cannot be said for juvenile fish.
Thus, the bureau's research arm, the National Fisheries Development Institute (NFRDI) will continue to assess lingering effects of the oil spill on fish population and other marine life in the coastal towns of Rosario, Naic, Ternate, and Tanza.
The Philippine Coast Guard and the BFAR have advised local fisherfolk not to fish in the affected areas as they continue their land- and sea-based monitoring operations.
BFAR also announced that it is willing to help fishermen whose fishing equipment have been damaged by the oil slick "depending on the need and extent of the damage."
Initial reports said 500,000 liters of diesel leaked into Manila Bay on August 8 from a submerged pipeline owned by oil giant Petron Corp in Rosario town. Cavite Governor Jonvic Remulla, however, said reports reaching him estimated only 90,000 liters.
Petron Corp committed to assisting in cleanup operations and compensating the fisherfolk who temporarily could not pursue their means of livelihood due to the incident.
Cavite's fish production makes up 7.5% of Calabarzon's total marine municipal fish production or 2,736.01 metric tons out of the region's total of 36,567.40 metric tons. – Rappler.com
Pia Ranada covers the Office of the President and Bangsamoro regional issues for Rappler. While helping out with desk duties, she also watches the environment sector and the local government of Quezon City. For tips or story suggestions, you can reach her at email@example.com.