By Tara Yap
The fishing community of Gigantes Islands in Carles town, Iloilo province can now breathe easier after its coastal waters are now free from red tide toxin.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) today lifted the advisory and declared that no paralytic poison exists along the Visayan Sea that surrounds Gigantes Island.
This ended the two-month-long warning to fishermen not to harvest, trade and eat shellfishes including the sought-after scallops, which is a popular seafood dish among tourists and are also exported.
The negative impact of the red tide to the livelihood of the fishing community even led to a state of calamity declaration in the four barangays (villages) of Gigantes Islands—Asluman, Gabi, Granada and Lantangan.
With the lifting of the red tide warning, it is unclear what would happen to the proposed government programs for the fisher folks.
For instance, Iloilo fifth district Rep. Raul Tupas earlier disclosed there would be a cash-for-work program to the affected fishermen.