RESIDENTS of a coastal village in Masantol and members of a local environmental group expressed alarm over the dead marine species floating in the red-colored waters of the Pampanga River.

BakaJuan president Bart Aguinaldo, a resident of coastal village Nigui, disclosed that they have been noticing specks of red in a portion of the Pampanga River for two weeks now.

On Friday, Aguinaldo said the residents were alarmed after dead fish, crabs and shrimps started floating in the river.

Compared to the recent fish kill experienced in the same town in October 2017, Aguinaldo described that “floating fish were fewer but water is more blurred and reddish.”

“We have been observing the water for two weeks now and it worsens every day. We cannot go fishing in the river again for fear that our catch are poisoned. We are again losing our livelihood,” Aguinaldo lamented.

Aguinaldo, meanwhile, dismissed speculations that the fish kill was related to the red tide warning raised by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) over the coastal waters of Pampanga and Bataan.

Aguinaldo asserted that the toxin-affected waters of Pampanga River flow from the upstream which, he claimed, is unlikely to become infected by red tide toxins detected in seawaters.

Aguinaldo said residents suspect that an alcohol plant in Apalit town discharged anew chemical wastes into the Pampanga River, which flowed down and allegedly caused the fish kill.

The same fermentation plant was also the suspect of Masantol fishermen in causing the massive fish kill in their coastal town, but BFAR later reported hypoxia or oxygen depletion as the cause.

Mayor Danilo Guintu, for his part, said that he already ordered an investigation, such as taking of water samples, to check on the veracity of the report.

“I already instructed the Municipal Agriculture Office to see if this is an effect of red tide, otherwise we will do deeper investigation to find the culprit,” he said.