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Gigantes free from red tide


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.

MB File- A laboratory analyst examines extracts of shellfish gathered from coastal areas in Bataan yesterday at the Marine Biotoxin Laboratory of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Quezon City. The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has warned the public against consuming shellfish caught from at least seven coastal towns of Bataan, which have been afflicted by red tide. Apart from Manila Bay in Bataan, other bodies of water have also been found to have breached the regulatory limit for paralytic shellfish poison. These are the towns of Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur, Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogo, Bislig Bay in Surigao del Sur, Carigara Bay in Leyte, Murcielagos Bay Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental, and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar. Photo by: Mark Balmores


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.

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