DOST to research ways to prevent fish kill, plant overgrowth in rivers, lakes
MANILA, Philippines – The Department of Science and Technology (DOST) has initiated a research effort to come up with measures to prevent fish kill, and control the destructive overgrowth of aquatic plants like the water hyacinth.
On President Aquino’s orders, Science Secretary Mario Montejo said the DOST has been organizing a team of researchers to craft a “science-based mitigation program” to address such problems now affecting Batangas and Cotabato City.
“It will be a DOST multidisciplinary team of experts so we can cover as many angles as possible,” DOST spokesperson Raymund Liboro said.
A massive fish kill recently depleted the fish supply in Batangas and parts of Pangasinan, depriving locals of livelihood. Uncontrolled growth of water hyacinth meanwhile clogged the Rio Grande in Cotabato City, causing massive flooding in surrounding villages.
“In both incidents, we see the serious disruptions in the life and livelihood of our people. The immediate effects of the fishkill and water hyacinth obstruction in Mindanao’s second largest river are bad enough. Think about the marginal communities that depend on those income sources,” said Montejo in a statement.
He said experts from DOST’s 22 agencies and from across the country would be tapped to help in the research effort.
Among them, Montejo has enlisted the help of the Philippine Council for Aquatic and Marine Research and Development, Industrial Technology Development Institute, Philippine Council for Agriculture, and the Forestry and Natural Resources Research and Development.
DOST also plans to seek help from the Ateneo de Manila University and the the Commission on Information and Communication Technology.