FISHKILL samples from the waters of Padada, Davao del Sur showed traces of harmful farm chemicals, including chlorothalonil, a fungicide, Diazinon, an organophosphate pesticide, and controversial endosulfan, used to control aphids, leafhoppers, beetles and cabbage worms.

These chemicals are particularly highly toxic to aquatic species.

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But, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Davao Region is not about to exclude the sudden change in water temperatures due to the start of the rainy season as the reason for the June 24 fishkill in Barangay Paligue, Padada.

"Other factors were also noted like sudden changes of weather and too much heat," BFAR Assistant Regional Director Fatma Idris.

Based on a report signed by BFAR Regional Director George Campeon, the fishkill at Barangay Paligue netted some 50 kilos of tilapia, ugis and bulog in what appears to be contaminated water.

Water and fish samples were taken by field officer Carlito Aclao who brought these to the Pesticide Analytical Laboratory.

The fishes did not have any physical damages like lesions, blisters, and lacerations, which could have pointed to other causes of death.

The presence of the chemical substances, used in the farms, show that the waters have been contaminated with domestic and agricultural wastes.

Waste result was also showed decrease in oxygen concentration of the water. Very low oxygen content plus chemicals are lethal to marine life.

Idris said due to the fishkill, those assigned for agricultural concerns have advocated proper use and disposal of farm chemicals "to avoid similar recurrences in the future, and other partner agencies are helping to monitor this."

Paligue barangay captain Pamela Hernandez has been warning residents not to partake of the fish that were killed as this can cause harm to humans.

It was also reported that a sack of fertilizer was dropped into the waters, which could have contributed to the fishkill. (Dondon Dinoy)