BFAR hoping recent rains could wash away red tide in 5 Eastern Visayas bays

Published July 28, 2020, 3:24 PM

by Marie Tonette Marticio

TACLOBAN City – The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-8) is hoping that the rains brought by the low-pressure area (LPA) affecting Southern Luzon and some parts of Visayas will wash away the red tide blooms affecting five bays in Eastern Visayas.

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

Based on the latest shellfish bulletin, Cancabato Bay covering Tacloban City; Matarinao Bay encompassing General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar; Carigara Bay surrounding Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Carigara, and Capoocan, Leyte; the Coastal Waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; and Irong-Irong Bay in Catbalogan are now infested with the red tide or algal blooms.

Although BFAR-8 Regional Director Juan Albaladejo said that red tide was a normal occurrence, and was expected due to prevailing weather conditions, they were still monitoring 14 out the 31 bays in the region for possible red ride events. 

He added that the long dry out period, coupled with a sudden downpour, produces a series of upwelling, moving the sediments laden with cyst stages of red tide microorganisms, thereby, exposing its high densities organic matter that cause the red tide blooms.

“The coastal waters of Guiuan red tide event is the first record,” he disclosed, citing the latest shellfish advisory released by the Bureau Monday, July 27.

Albaladejo said they institute regular monitoring of coastal waters with previously identified red tide events as a preventive measure.

“This is usually done through passive and active surveillance. Passive surveillance is performing a weekly sampling and once a rise in the number of red tide microorganisms above the regulatory limits, we usually shift to active surveillance which is sampling done thrice in a week to have timely information dissemination to the public through shellfish advisories and bulletins,” he explained.

The public is still advised to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfishes and Acetes species, locally known as “alamang or hipon” from the four bays based on the laboratory examination conducted by the BFAR-8 Regional Marine Biotoxin Laboratory.