Fish cage operators can now resume feeding their fish stocks in Taal Lake, as water quality continues to improve.

Agriculture Secretary William Dar said based on tests conducted by the DA’s Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (DA-BFAR), from January 14 to 30, 2020, the level of dissolved oxygen in Taal Lake, which is essential to fish growth and survival, has improved as is now below critical level.

Taal water quality tests also show that the sulfide level is within normal, while ammonia is still within critical level, said DA-BFAR 4-A Director Sammy Malvas.

Hence, he recommends fish cage owners not to overfeed the fish (commonly tilapia and bangus) to avoid accumulation of toxic ammonia.

He added that the DA-BFAR tests showed the sulfur content of tilapia samples from Taal Lake compares with those from the National Freshwater Fisheries Technology Center, in Munoz, Nueva Ecija.

This indicates that despite the volcanic eruption, the fish did not ingest much sulfur.

Malvas said the DA-BFAR will continue to conduct water quality monitoring and ensure that fish cage operators are properly advised and provided needed technical assistance.

DA-BFAR 4A Reg’l Director Sammy Malvas