Red tide warning up, not alarming

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Red tide warning up, not alarming

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Bohol consumers have been alerted on the spread of red tide organisms upon the sudden change of temperature, a phenomenon that struck the province for the first time.

Provincial health officer, Dr. Reymoses Cabagnot, confirmed that four had been admitted for red tide intoxication, one from Trinidad, and five from barangay Totolan in Dauis town.

The intoxication, although not that serious, had been directly traced to the shellfish that they ate.

Cabagnot, immediately advised the municipalities of Panglao and Dauis to temporarily prohibit shellfish gleaners or inter-tidal foragers from collecting shellfish in their areas.

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Selling shellfish is also prohibited at this time and for consumers from eating shellfish.

Leo Bongalos, head of the provincial office of the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) confirmed that the samples taken for laboratory tests that proved the presence of red tide included the left overs of those hospitalized and those from the inter-tidal zone of Dauis. Bohol is one of the four provinces in the country where red tide alert was raised soon after the start of the rainy days.

Bongalos explained that red tide organisms thrive at the bottom part of the seawaters and it is the reason that shellfish and fishes that thrive in deep sea such as mol-mol, lapu-lapu and the likes are prone to taking in red tide organisms. Fish thriving in shallow portions of the sea like Tulingan, Borot-borot, and Anduhaw are less likely to take in red tide organisms.

The red tide organisms multiplies rapidly during sudden change of temperature from extremely high temperature of the environment to a sudden drop, like what happened this week when it suddenly rained after a long period of hot season.

Bongalos also explained that shellfish and fishes are always opening their mouth and it is the reason they could easily take in the red tide organisms. In the event of rapid multiplication, red tide organisms would reach the shallow portion of the seawaters that it could even be determined by the color of the sea.

The red tide organisms are present at the seawaters in normal temperature, but their amount can be tolerable by human beings and it only becomes harmful when taken in in large amount during the time when they multiply like in times of sudden change of temperature.

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Governor Edgar Chatto on Thursday alerted the towns of Dauis, Panglao and even in the nearby Tagbilaran City upon receiving a confirmation from BFAR-7 Regional Director Andres Bojos that samples from Dauis seawaters proved positive of red tide.

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Upon receiving the information from Bojos, Chatto immediately convened a meeting on Wednesday night with heads of critical offices discussing the red tide alert.

Chatto said the BFAR-7 cited sudden temperature as the factor in a red tide phenomenon, upon the sudden downpour after a period of hot season.

The provincial government will hold a barangay emergency management on Monday to be attended by all barangay captains at the Bohol Tropics.

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For her part, Dauis Mayor Miriam Sumaylo immediately sent teams to the coastal barangays in her town to warn the residents from collecting shellfish.

The teams also distributed food packs so that the coastal communities will have emergency food supply while they are prevented from their usual livelihood of collecting and selling shellfish.

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On the part of Panglao, the municipal administrator still awaits specific orders from the mayor.

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