Eastern Visayas free from toxic red tide
The Manila Times
Eastern Visayas has been red tide-free for four consecutive weeks, according to the latest report provided by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR). Based on the Shellfish Bulletin 21, Series of 2023, provided by BFAR Eastern Visayas, laboratory research confirms that the region’s 16 bays and coastal waters with a history of red tide infestation are free of dangerous organisms. The BFAR reported that four weeks of sampling revealed no indications for paralytic shellfish poisoning. The most recent red tide incident was at Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar, which occurred from the end of May to the middle of August this year. “Our fishermen can now resume the gathering and trading of shellfish in this area since these products are now safe for human consumption based on the latest results of our laboratory analysis,” the BFAR regional office said in a statement. Although the shellfish restriction has been lifted in every part of the region, monitoring will continue to look for any potential resurgence. The coastal waters of Daram, Zumarraga, Cambatutay, Irong-irong, Maqueda, Guiuan, San Pedro Bay, and Villareal Bays in Samar; the coastal waters of Calubian, Ormoc, Sogod, Carigara Bay, Cancabato Bay, and Tacloban City in Leyte; and the coastal waters of Biliran Island are all covered by the routine water sample checks. To guarantee that the shellfish collected from these locations are suitable for human consumption, BFAR routinely tests water samples through its regional laboratory. If seawater tests positive for red tide, they collect and submit shellfish to their national laboratory for a full investigation. Red tide is a word used to describe a situation in which the water turns red due to increased algal biomass or concentration of algae.