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Where have all the fish gone?

August 11, 2007

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Fisherman Glenn Gabito laments the disappearance of fish as he inspects his oil-smeared fishnets in Barangay Tando, Nueva Valencia, Guimaras whose shorelines and waters have been polluted by the Petron oil spill. PDI

Text and photo by Hazel P. Villa
Inquirer, Aug. 11, 2007

NUEVA VALENCIA, Guimaras – Tama gid ka pigado (Extremely difficult time),” is the oft-repeated phrase of fishermen in the coastal villages of Nueva Valencia town in Guimaras province that was heavily affected by the country’s worst oil spill on Aug. 11, 2006.

Glenn Gabito, 41, a fisherman and father of eight children in Barangay Tando said the last time his fishnet got 600 kilos of fish in a single fishing expedition was Jan. 1 this year. Since then, he couldn’t even get two kilos.

“The fish have not returned. I have been out fishing for three days but I came back with nothing. There’s no income because there’s no fish,” said Gabito in Hiligaynon on Aug. 6.

“Even small fish, none at all,” said Gabito whose house in Tando beach was heavily tarred with bunker fuel oil from Petron-chartered MT Solar I that leaked 1.2 million liters of oil.

Before the oil spill, fishermen could get 20 to 30 kilos of fish a day and, on really good days, about a hundred kilos or more, netting an income of P500 to P1,500, he said.

(Click Where fish.)

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