Fishing in the Polluted Manila Bay

I couldn’t help but feel sad for the current state of the Manila Bay.

Manila Bay is the body of water that covers the seas to the west of Manila City and the nearby provinces. It is the best harbor in the Philippines and majority of sea vessels enter Manila Bay to reach the busiest ports in the country. Before the Spanish Colonization and until now, Manila Bay is the main source of food for many Filipinos. Old people still say stories of how beautiful and clean Manila Bay is. Now, due to neglect and irresponsibility, it only serves as the largest sewage and dumping area of Metro Manila.

Last week, I saw Manila Bay up close, when we did a project at Centennial Park in Navotas City. I could see and smell the sorry state of Manila Bay. The water is totally darkened and volumes of trash are floating everywhere. The smell of Manila Bay is sickening. The bad thing is that the odor stuck to our skin after we did the project for the whole day.
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The black sea. Notice the trash floating on the water.

To my surprise, I saw a group of children fishing on the Manila Bay. They told me that they started fishing since 6:30 AM and they are fishing their lunch.
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 Kids still fish from the Manila Bay.

They are using nylon threads with hook and weight at the end. Once they feel something tugging their nylon thread, they will instantly tug the thread to catch the fish. They use “ipis dagat” (sea cockroaches) as their bait. A kid said that he have a hard time catching the ipis dagat because they ran very fast. Ipis dagat are plenty on the sea walls and rocks beside Manila Bay.
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Ipis dagat everyone?

Fishes still live in Manila Bay. The kids already caught many fishes since early morning, which is enough for their lunch. The fish is not larger than the size of a regular cellphone. They fry it or cook it by vinegar (kilawin). However, I am concerned with those fish because it is possible that it ingested the filth and poison in Manila Bay. It is possible that eating those fish poses great risk to those kids’ health.
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Fish for lunch.

Fishing is still a sizable industry in Manila Bay. I saw large fishing vessels coming from Navotas Fish Port. The fish port is still one of the largest drop-off points for fishes and marine foodstuff in the country.
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 Fishing vessels berthed on the Manila Bay coastline.

Manila Bay is an important part of the Philippines. However, because of our neglect, it became one of the most polluted seas in the world. I hope that the government’s effort to clean Manila Bay will continue. I do hope that the Filipino people will also learn to respect Mother Nature and stop throwing trash on rivers and waterways, especially the ones that are connected to Manila Bay.

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14 comments:

  1. Gosh...it certainly looks bad. I wouldn't wanna eat the fish - may be toxic!

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  2. Yeah, I guess the fish is indeed toxic. No one should be eating that fish.

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  3. That's just terrible. We, Filipinos, should really learn how to take care of our environment.

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  4. I agree with you Mariel. It is quite terrible.

    Something must be done to return Manila Bay to its "dalisay" (clean) state.

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  5. hayst... wla talagang awa ang mga taong yan... ay teka... ngayon ko lang naalala... wala palang binanggit si Noynoy sa SONA about environment...

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  6. dapat talaga na alagaan ang karagatan kasi likas na yaman..huwag pagtapunan ng mga basura..

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  7. Nakakalungkot talaga...sana nga may budget ang gobyerno for the clean up act at gumawa din ng batas n pwede dito...

    Sa Cavite, nakakalungkot din doon, sobrang daming basura din...ewan ko b bakit walang gingawa ang lokal na pamahalaan doon...

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  8. Nasurprise ako! kasi nakakita rin ako ng ganung isda sa saranggani bay...wala lang also had a picture of it...lolz... saka yup saddening na masangsang na nga ang amoy sa manila bay... hayz...

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  9. kanain talaga nila yung nakuha nilang isda? gosh! tsk3x...

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  10. @Bluedreamer:

    Wala siyang nasabi sa SONA n'ya? Hindi ko alam 'yan ah. Hindi ko nasubaybayan yung SONA eh.

    Grabe talaga. Sana magbago na tayo at pangalagaan natin ang ating karagatan.

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  11. @Arvin:

    Tama ka d'yan. After years of neglect eh hindi nakapagtataka at pumangit na ang Manila Bay.

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  12. @Jag:

    Actually marami na tayong batas patungkol sa pangangalaga ng kalikasan. May Clean Water Act. Merong batas laban sa littering. Meron ding kanya-kanyang ordinansa ang mga lungsod at mga munisipyo. Ang problema lang talaga ay implementasyon at disiplina.

    Ay, nakita ko rin yung sitwasyon dyan sa Cavite noong may binisita ako. Madumi din yung dagat dun. Grabe. Talagang tutulog tulog ang mga LGUs doon.

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  13. @Xprosaic:

    Talaga? Merong ganung isda din dun? Pero sa palagay ko ay hindi na nila kalahi yun. Yung mga nasa Manila Bay ay mga mutants na. Kaya na nilang mabuhay sa langis at burak eh.

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  14. @Megumi:

    Kinakain nga nila 'yun. Ganun kahirap ang mga tao doon dahil kahit mga toxic na isda ay nakukuha nilang kainin.

    Nakakalungkot din, hindi lang dahil sa dumi ng Manila Bay, kundi dahil din sa kahirapan ng mga tao doon.

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