THE Municipal Government of Hinoba-an has yet to wait for the result of the water and fish sample analysis to determine the cause of the fishkill that recently hit a river of the southern Negros Occidental locality.
Agriculturist II and municipal fishery program coordinator Jimmy Cambarijan, in a phone interview with SunStar Bacolod Thursday, February 20, said some residents reported the fishkill incident on Monday, February 17.
Cambarijan said it affected the at least seven-kilometer stretch Hinoba-an River connecting four barangays such as Barangays 1 Poblacion, 2 Poblacion, San Rafael and Bacuyangan.
“Upon verification with the Bantay Dagat coordinator, there was a positive fishkill incident,” he said, adding that proper coordination with concerned offices and agencies including the local environment and resources office, Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) - Negros Occidental was then conducted.
Based on their monitoring, the Municipal Agriculture Office, along with other groups, has found random traces of dead marine fishes like “gusaw” (mullet), “asuos” (whiting), “bugaong” (terapon), “sigwin” (garfish), and “pasayan” (shrimp), among others.
Most of these dead fishes were found at Barangay 1 Poblacion, where the river mouth is located.
Cambarijan said a few number of fresh water fish like “bunog” were also found in some other portions of the river.
He added that some residents claimed that they actually saw some dead fishes floating in the river since last week.
“After following the whole stretch of the river, the team was able to collect about a half sack of dead fishes on Monday,” Cambarijan said, but after which, no more dead fish was seen in the area so far.
The local government has already taken water and fish samples from three sampling cites and were already submitted to the laboratory of BFAR-Western Visayas in Iloilo City.
“Once the result is out, we can determine by then the real cause of the fishkill,” the agriculturist said.
Though, he is looking at the possibility that there might be some farmers at the upper portion of the river who used chemical substances like fertilizers that were probably mixed in the water.
There are also reports on some “unregulated” small-scale mining operating in the area “but we don’t know yet thus, we need to wait for the result of the analysis.”
The fishkill incident has not affected the livelihood of the residents, Cambarijan added.