Red tide returns to Cancabato Bay

Published November 16, 2019, 11:01 AM

by Dr. Eduardo Gonzales

By Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN CITY – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has reported that red tide had returned to Cancabato Bay just two weeks after the agency lifted the shellfish ban in the area.

Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (MANILA BULLETIN)
Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (MANILA BULLETIN)

BFAR 8 Regional Director Juan Albaladejo explained that weather changes this month triggered the return of red tide in the bay after it was found to be free from parallytic shellfish poisoning last October 31.

“If you check the weather pattern these past few weeks, we started with very warm weather and we experienced a tropical depression,” he shared.

The most recent red tide occurrence in the city’s Cancabato Bay was recorded in the third week of August, which remained until Oct. 31.

He said that based on their regular laboratory testing, the presence of toxin in seawater is as high as 10,000 cells per liter and 80 micrograms per 100 grams of meat.

The regulatory limit for water is 10 cells per liter of seawater and 60 micrograms per 100 grams of meat.

Albaladejo also expressed optimism that the resurgence of the phenomenon will be short-lived since Cancabato has a good flushing action due to the strong current in the San Juanico Strait.

Meanwhile, red tide is also present in San Pedro Bay, Irong-irong Bay, and Silanga Bay all in Samar province.

BFAR prohibits gathering, trading, and consumption of shellfish from the areas identified positive of shellfish poisoning until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory level.

However, fish caught in the areas are safe for human consumption provided that they are fresh, washed and cooked thoroughly.