The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) discovered low levels of dissolved oxygen & high levels of ammonia, suggestion pollution from agriculture or industrial waste.
Thousands of dead fish were found floating off of the coastal areas of Las Piñas and Parañaque cities in the Philippines, according to Gulf News.
The fish washed up on the shores of Las Piñas’ Long Island, and Parañaque’s Freedom Island, which are marine protected areas. Authorities were able to collect about two tons of dead fish from the shores of the two cities.
Tests conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) on water samples collected from the two cities showed low amounts of dissolved oxygen and high levels of ammonia.
Dissolved oxygen should be greater than 5 ppm but tests showed it was only 0.70 to 2 ppm, reported the Canadian Philippine Inquirer. The water had high levels of ammonia at 3.59 ppm, whereas the norm is less than .05 ppm.
Though ammonia is a naturally occurring chemical, in the case of these collected water samples, there are indications that these compounds could have come from agricultural, domestic or industrial wastes. The phosphates found could come from raw domestic sewage, agricultural runoff or urban wastes, according to U.S. Geological Survey (USGS).
A considerable number of Las Piñas and Parañaque residents, especially those living in coastal areas, rely on fishing for their livelihood. In 2018, Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte created a task force to speed up the rehabilitation of the Manila Bay due to years of pollution and neglect.
The task force is ordered to enforce relevant laws to ensure the rehabilitation and conservation of Manila Bay, improve its water quality, implement a comprehensive plan for massive relocation of informal settler families and facilitate information drive on Manila Bay clean-up, according to Phil Star Global.
The BFAR will continuously monitor water quality in the area and provide assistance to the local government unit of the two cities, reported Gulf News.
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