talisay and Lake Taal fish pens, from Laeuna de Taal, situated along the Tagaytay mountain ridge


Children playing on a Banca at Talisay, Lake Taal

In two of the adjacent photos can be seen Napayung Island and the rise on it's left is Maria Paz.

Taal, which has a surface area of 24,356 square meters, is the Philippines third largest lake next to Laguna and Lanao Lakes.

Illustrated in some of the photos are fish cages in Barangays Tumaway and Quiling in Talisay. Fish pens are differentiated from cages by having as their bottom boundary the lake bed itself. The main species farmed are tilapia and milk-fish (bangus).

The ideal size for fish cages is 10 by 10 meters with a depth of six meters, but some cages in the area are 15 meters deep. Fingerlings, meanwhile, should be from 30,000 to 50,000 per cage, but some cages have 100,000.

Based on BFAR (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Records" , Taal lake has an allowable 6,000 fish cages with an estimated aquaculture production of 54, 000 metric tons and an equivalent value of P4.05 billion annually. 

Overfeeding is one of the major causes of the fishkill. There are two types of feeds, the floating kind and the sinking kind. Fishcagers mostly use the sinking kind because it is cheaper. It is made up of sticky pellets which break up into fine powder when they hit the water. The main ingredient of the feeds is chicken manure. Let us say that a cager uses 20 kilos of feeds per day, only about half or even less is consumed. The other 10 kilos sinks to the bottom of the deep lake.

... a rough estimate is one ton of feeds per cage per month. Due to overfeeding, let us say the cagers use two tons. Let us take the conservative figure of 10,000 cages, which translates into a total lake input of a staggering 20,000 tons of feeds a month, half of which, or 10,000 tons sinks to the bottom of the lake. Let us say the fish defecate half of the 10,000 tons of feeds. So that is a total of 15,000 tons per month at the bottom of the lake. This translates into 180,000 tons of waste per year at the bottom of the lake.

Reference: THE TAAL LAKE FISH KILL by Bernie Lopez. (www.sisterraquel.com/2011/12/eastwind-journals-15-taal-lake-fishkill/)

After our visit in December 2013 the following was published by ABS-CBN News in January 2014: Posted at 01/21/2014

BATANGAS - Around 120 tons or P10.5 million worth of tilapia and bangus were lost to a fish kill that hit parts of Taal Lake in Batangas province over the weekend, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said. BFAR (Region 4-A) Regional Director Esmeralda Paz Manalang said sulfur upwelling in the Taal Lake triggered the fish kill in barangays Aya, Quiling, Tumaway and Sampaloc in Talisay, Batangas late last week.
Continued RHS =>

Apparent Fish cage debris on Taal Lake Bed near Talisay

Continued from LHS
The fish kill affected 51 of 2,000 fish cages in Talisay town, killing 70 tons of bangus and 50 tons of tilapia. Manalang said the phenomenon was caused by the lake’s “overturn” and a possible sulphur upwelling brought about by the northeast monsoon. An overturn happens as cool water at the top of the lake
(usually from monsoonal rain) becomes heavier and goes down, while warm water rises to the surface, he explained. This process causes sulphur and other organic matter on the lake bottom to rise and affect the fish in the cages, he added. BFAR has been keeping an eye on the phenomenon, which is caused by the wind disturbing the sediments in the lake and releasing hydrogen sulphide since 2000.

The recommended dissolved oxygen acceptable continuous exposure level in water for fish culture level is 6.0 mg/L. Fish kills can occur when it drops below 3.0 mg/L. Water pumps are leased to operators to increase the dissolved oxygen in the water when it has reached critical levels.

The smell of dead fish affects the businesses of resorts that are near fish kills. Even resorts that were not reached by the smell of this fish kill are affected. Sulphur upwelling is most likely to occur during the cool months of November to February.

A fish pen under a Greek flag at Talisay,Lake Taal
Race start - Talisay - lake Taal
Boats racing with Napayung Island in the background
A Korean? resort at Talisay, Lake Taal
Taal Lake Yacht Club
Apartments at Club Balai Isabel, Talisay, Lake Taal
Supply boat for fish pens - Talisay, Lake Taal
Fisherman's hut and Fish Pen - Talisay, Lake Taal
Herons and Fish Pen, Talisay, Lake Taal
Mt. Binintiang Malaki Volcano and the Lake Taal Yacht Club