About 30,000 square meters (or 30 hectares) of Lake Sebu were cleared of illegal fish pens last month, this according to a senior official of the Lake Warden Office (LWO).
Dondon Artacho, current LWO Officer-in-Charge disclosed that from May 25 – 31, their office jointly with Lake Sebu Municipal Agriculture Office conducted demolition of illegal fish pens in consonance with the Executive Order signed by Mayor Antonio Fungan implementing the 10% maximum allowable aquaculture zone for its municipal waters.
“We were able to confiscate 800 bamboo poles used by errant fish cage operators in the demolished area during that period,” Artacho confirmed an interview by this writer.
He added that most of the operators conducted self-demolition in compliance with the EO and were only able to confiscate from non-complying operators, 7 illegal fish pens and 2 illegal floating structures used as guard houses.
Earlier, Lake Sebu experienced massive tilapia fishkill which costs hundreds of millions in pesos in damage to due to excessive fish farming that reached 22%, or more than 12% of the allowable limit in the aquaculture zone.
According to the Office of the Municipal Agriculturist, 15 barangays of the town have excess cages totaling to 208,910 square meters and another 212,350 square meters have no permits or a total of 421,320 sq.m. subject to be demolish.
With the implementation of the EO, PEMO said, may result as the solution to the recurring occurrence of fish kill that happens annually in the said town.