By Marie Tonette Grace Marticio
TACLOBAN CITY – The coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte and Villareal Bay in Samar province are now negative from red tide toxin, however, Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar remains positive for paralytic shellfish poisoning.
This was revealed by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources based on the laboratory examination on the shellfish samples collected in the area for three consecutive weeks, and the monitoring by local government units’ (LGUs).
Earlier this month, Eastern Samar provincial fisheries officer Nelia Tomayao warns the public to refrain from gathering, selling and eating all types of shellfishes and Acetes sp. locally known as ‘alamang or hipon’ from Matarinao Bay to avoid possible shellfish poisoning.
BFAR 8 regional director Juan Albaladejo noted that Matarinao Bay really has history of long duration for red tide occurrence once there is a bloom.
“Since it first appeared in the bay in 2011, it last for a year and same for the succeeding red tide events. The main reason was the configuration of the bay which can be characterized as “cul de sac,” so movement of water is restricted. Thus, it tends to maintain and sustain the bloom for fertilization in shallow portion of the bay from running off the land,” he explained.
He added that the long episodes of the red ride events in the bay are usually coupled with long stretch of good weather and occasional rainfall event, which really favor continuous bloom of the red tide.
“It is only when the ‘Amihan’ hits Eastern Visayas, which produces strong winds and water movements in the bay and brings in rains when the salinity is reduced. The movement dilutes the bloom and causes to die.”
Meanwhile, coastal waters of Samar, Tacloban, Leyte and Biliran province continue to be free from red tide toxins.