Just a few weeks after the unprecedented arrival of tons of ‘Tamban’ in Sarangani, creating a frenzy among locals, a similar phenomenon occurred in the Island Garden City of Samal in Davao on January 25, 2024, at around 8 in the evening. The event was captured by a vigilant netizen, sparking varied reactions from the online community.
The video showcased a breathtaking sight of an immense school of fish converging near the shores of Samal Island. This mesmerizing natural spectacle has stirred both awe and gratitude, with many considering it a blessing. However, not everyone shares the sentiment, as some locals express concern, fearing that it might be a prelude to a calamity, especially in the aftermath of recent seismic activities, such as the earthquake that followed the massive fish migration in Sarangani.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) addressed these concerns, emphasizing that such occurrences are normal and attributed to a phenomenon called upwelling. According to Nazario Briguera, a spokesperson for BFAR, “During instances when small pelagic fish like sardines swarm in large numbers, upwelling may be one of the possible reasons. This is when cold water from beneath the ocean rises, triggering the upsurge of nutrients from the depths.”
The presence of these abundant nutrients near the water’s surface creates an ideal environment for small pelagic fish like sardines to thrive. While some locals remain apprehensive, BFAR reassures the public that this is a natural and cyclical process. Upwelling events contribute to the marine ecosystem’s health, providing an influx of nutrients that sustain various marine life.
Despite the uncertainty surrounding the specific types of fish that inundated Samal Island’s waters, initial observations suggest that the phenomenon might involve a resurgence of sardines, similar to the Sarangani incident. The natural beauty of the underwater world coming to the surface has become a source of wonder and amazement, highlighting the intricate balance of nature.
The viral video capturing the influx of tons of fish in the Island Garden City of Samal serves as a reminder of the wonders and complexities of nature. While some may see it as a divine blessing, others express concerns rooted in recent seismic activities. The scientific explanation from BFAR, however, provides clarity, attributing the phenomenon to the normal and essential process of upwelling, contributing to the richness and diversity of marine life in the region.