Red tide alert over the coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran remained hoisted, now on a stretch of two months and a half.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) declared this in Shellfish Bulletin 16 issued on June 5.
Since the last clinching of red tide episode on May 10 last year, BFAR hoisted the red tide alert anew over Dauis and Tagbilaran coastal waters on March 22 this year.
The latest shellfish bulletin on June 5 covered fewer areas under red tide advisory compared to the past trends- -coastal waters of Biliran province, Leyte in Leyte, Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur, Dauis and Tagbilaran in Bohol, and Honda Bay in Puerto Princesa City in Palawan.
According to BFAR Director Eduardo Gongona, these areas are “still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit”.
Gongona warned that “all types of shellfish and Acetes species or alamang gathered from these areas are not safe for human consumption”.
“Fish, squids, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking,” according to Gongona.
BFAR-Bohol Head Leo Bongalos, for his part, disseminated the June 5 shellfish bulletin to concerned local government units and the LGUs, in turn, sent advisories to affected sectors for guidance.
Bongalos said it is still uncertain when the red tide alert over Dauis and Tagbilaran coastal waters could be lifted.
He, however, shared that it usually lasts about five months and beyond for the areas of Dauis and Tagbilaran to be free from red tide, based on the pattern.
Bongalos explained that the long period of red tide invasion in these contiguous areas could be attributed to the slow current of seawaters and its lagoon-like shape that restricts the movement of the organisms within the area.
The frame of the bridge along the causeway connecting the mainland and Panglao island at the Poblacion I point of Tagbilaran and the fronting Dauis side of the island is also being studied for its possible contribution to the situation and for reference in the planned third bridge to connect the mainland and Panglao Island.
The last red tide episode in the coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran that lasted six months was lifted on May 10 last year.
BFAR earlier noted the most alarming red tide incidence in June 2015 when 12 individuals were found positive of red tide toxins after eating shellfish gathered from Dauis and Tagbilaran.
It prompted BFAR to check on the red tide concentration in the seawaters of Dauis and Tagbilaran which resulted to the series of findings that these areas had high concentration of red tide toxins.
BFAR hoisted the red tide alert since then until March 2016.
Red tide concentration again in these areas increased to an intolerable level in the last quarter of 2016.
BFAR-7 hoisted again the red tide alert covering Dauis and Tagbilaran areas on November 19, 2016, after laboratory results showed high concentration of red tide organisms in these areas.
On May 10 last year, BFAR lifted the red tide alert, after finding from laboratory results that the Dauis and Tagbilaran seawaters are already free from red tide toxins.
High concentration of red tide toxins was also found in the same areas in the past, prompting BFAR to hoist the red tide alert from June in 2015 until March 2016.
In the middle of October 2016, BFAR-7 started noting signs of possible resurgence of red tide toxins to high concentration.