The bays of Eastern Visayas keep their red tide-free tag for two months.
TACLOBAN CITY, Philippines – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) reported on Tuesday that bays in Eastern Visayas have been red tide-free for the past two months due to excellent meteorological conditions in the region.
“The situation in the region is holding up, thanks to the current weather conditions. The northern easterly wind is still reducing coastal water temperatures, making it difficult for algae-causing red tide episodes to thrive “In a phone interview with the Philippine News Agency (PNA), BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said.
Based on BFAR’s frequent monitoring of saltwater, all bays in Eastern Visayas have been free of red tide toxins after nearly five years of infestation.
Seven bays were cleaned of red tide organisms as a result of laboratory tests conducted on February 7, opening the path for the region to be red tide-free.
Since then, BFAR has been testing water on a weekly basis, and all samples have come back negative for red tide.
San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar; the coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte; Carigara Bay in Capoocan, Carigara, Barugo, San Miguel, and Babatngon in Leyte; Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City; the coastal waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Matarinao Bay in General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar; and the
Red tide has been recurring in Matarinao, Carigara, and Cancabato Bays since 2017.
“Even if the shellfish restriction in these places is repealed, our active surveillance will continue as long as we have rain.” This could result in an outflow of organic-rich soil sediments, which could have fertilized the red tide cyst in these bays,” Albaladejo stated.
BFAR has been testing water samples in its regional laboratory on a regular basis to guarantee that shellfish collected from these locations are safe to eat.
They collect and send meat to their national laboratory for full analysis if seawaters test positive for red tide.
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