BACOLOD City Agriculturist Goldwyn Nifras said Monday that shellfishes harvested in the city’s coastal areas have been declared positive for red tide.
This is based on the examination conducted last week by the Provincial Marine Bio-Toxin Testing Center of the Office of the Provincial Agriculture (OPA) of Negros Occidental stating that green shells and oysters were confirmed positive of the red tide.
This means that it is not only the waters of Bacolod that were found positive of the red tide but also the shells, Nifras said.
Last December 23, Acting Mayor Greg Gasataya issued an advisory enjoining the public to refrain from eating all types of shellfishes and Acetes sp. (hipon) gathered from the coastal waters of the city after the OPA letter dated December 18 stated that seawater samples collected on December 14 and 17 contained the toxic algae species of Pyrodiniumbahamense var. compressum.
Hundreds of fishermen in Bacolod have been affected by the presence of red tide in the waters of Barngays Punta Taytay, Singcang-Airport, and Banago, and a portion of the Reclamation Area.
Gasataya said the city will extend financial and food assistance to fisherfolk affected by the occurrence of red tide.
He directed the Department of Social Services and Development and the City Agriculture Office to validate the legitimate persons living in the affected coastal areas.
Gasataya, who met with a group of fisherfolk on December 29, said he cannot determine yet how much assistance will be given to those affected for it will depend on the availability of funds.
Nifras said the City Agriculture Office is awaiting the latest laboratory result from the OPA after they provided seawater samples Monday.
On Sunday, an official of Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said more water samplings will be conducted this week in affected coastal areas in Bacolod and in three localities in northern Negros.
Aside from Bacolod, a red tide outbreak has also been reported in Cadiz City, Victorias City, and E.B. Magalona town.
Carlito Delfin, provincial director of BFAR-Negros Occidental and also assistant director of BFAR in Western Visayas, said that as of late Sunday, these areas are still positive for red tide.
He added that OPA still needs to conduct another test from three samplings per site.
Delfin said that the water samples will be brought to the BFAR central office for further analysis.