IN PHOTOS: LAKE BATO. ORDER OF THE DAY

Henry Supnay watches over his hired crew as they mend fishing nets near Lake Bato floodwall. “These meshes could last twenty years were it not for the triple whammy of 2019,” he muttered.

He was referring to typhoons Sarah, Tisoy, and Ursula which hit the province one after the other on that year leaving their “baklads” in total wreck.

Lake Bato lies within the Bicol River Basin — the bathtub of Bicolandia — which lies on the track of typhoons that cross the Philippines each year. The lake is a major source of livelihood for Batoeños in fish farming.

Unfortunately, it has been plagued with issues both natural and man-made: garbage, unregulated farming, siltation, floods, fish kills, the list goes on you could write a book. With countless environmental plans and concepts, approaches, recommendations, Lake Bato remains in deep trouble. Blame it on local politics, greed, and public apathy.

Lake Bato is dying. Picture it now.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Lake Bato, Camarines Sur. First blush.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Tilapia fingerlings for dispersal

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Fish tales to start the day.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
All aboard: fish feeds not to miss the boat.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Lake Bato, Camarines Sur

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Busted lake dredger. A monster devoured by its prey.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Waiting for the catch atop Lake Bato floodwall

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Another day of fish feeding ends

The dwindling bounty of Lake Bato

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Darning the mesh

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
Workers mend a fishing net destroyed by typhoons.

Lake Bato, Camarines Sur
“Sarok” for scooping fishes.

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