Hundreds of dead fish floating in the Manila Bay greeted residents of Baseco Compound in Manila Thursday morning.

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(Photo courtesy of Regine Nequia/ MANILA BULLETIN)

Regine Nequia, president of Baseco Seaside Neighborhood Association (BASA), said they were surprised to see the dead fish floating in the Sea Wall area of Manila Bay.

According to a Facebook post made by Urban Poor Associates, a non-government organization campaigning for the protection of housing rights which partnered with BASA, Nequia “immediately asked the fishermen” about the matter upon her discovery.

“[They then] told her that this is the first time they saw it in Baseco Sea Wall,” the group said.

Princess Esponilla, the group’s media advocacy officer, added they are still gathering further information regarding the incident.”Doon sa area na yun, first time siguro [ng mga residente makakita noon]. Vineverify pa namin ‘to sa mga mangingisda (I think, it’s the first time for the residents of the area to see a lot of dead fish. We’re still verifying the incident through the fishermen there),” Esponilla said. 

“Pero noong nagising kanina si Regine, nagulat sya na mayroong puti puti dagat. Usually daw, may mga fish kill, pero ‘di ganoon karami, [at] tuwing Amihan [season lang] (But when Regine woke up earlier, she was surprised to see white particles in the sand. She said, they used to see fish kill but usually not that many and only during Amihan season).”

Esponilla said her group is not discounting the “possibility” that “dolomite dumping” might have caused the fish kill.

“Sinasabi sakin [ng Oceana Philippines], may posibildad [na dolomite ang cause]. Pero ang ano talaga natin, ang call is, mag imbestiga yung government bakit may fish kill ang nangyayari at tingnan kung ito ay may kaugnayan sa dolomite dumping (Oceana Philippines is telling me that there’s a possibility that dolomite dumping caused the fish kill. So our call is for the government to investigate about the fish kill that happened),” she added.

The group said that the Baseco Compound community “now worries that this might be the effect of the dolomite or the ‘white sand’” dumped as part of the Manila Bay Rehabilitation.

The group said that residents are appealing to experts and government officials  “to look at what is happening in the bay area” as many of them, who have lost their jobs, have resorted to fishing in the area as “a viable source of food and income.”

In October last year, tubs of dead fish and shellfish were washed ashore from the Manila Bay in Parañaque and Las Pinas.

But according to the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources, low level of water salinity in some parts of the bay caused the death of the shellfish.

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