Red tide alert back in Bolinao, Anda towns

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Sunday, March 22, 2015


BOLINAO, Pangasinan -- The red tide alert is on again in the coastal waters of Bolinao and Anda, two towns along the Lingayen Gulf in the northwestern tip of Pangasinan, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said.

Dr. Westly Rosario, chief of the BFAR's National Integrated Fisheries and Technology Development Center (NIFTDC), confirmed on Sunday that samples of shellfish obtained from the two towns were found anew to be positive of red tide organism when analyzed in the laboratory.

It was only in March 6 this year when the red tide alert was lifted in the two towns and the city of Alaminos and Bani, as can be gleaned from red tide advisory of the BFAR on that day.

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The first red tide episode, which was observed to be rather long, started way back in September 2014.

Late last year, a woman died and 33 others from Bolinao were hospitalized after consuming mussels infected by red tide.

Rosario, who just came from Bolinao, said that luckily though, the problem is only confined in Bolinao and Anda, sparing as of now the coastal waters of Alaminos and Bani.

He blamed the return of the red tide episode on the increased growth of what he called dinoflaggellates in the waters of both towns, enhanced by the continuing hot summer and high salinity of water.

This is compounded by the big volume of nutrients dropped in the water of the Caquipotan Channel but are not consumed by the fish when caretakers of fish cage owners feed the fish in captivity.

Rosario observed that the Caquipotan channel, which separates the towns of Bolinao and Anda, remains teeming with hundred of commercial fish cages culturing bangus (milkfish).

He said fish cage owners ignored earlier recommendations of aquaculture experts to lessen the number of fish cages in the mouth of the Caquipotan channel for easier flushing of used water into the sea.

With this, Rosario appealed to the local government of Dagupan to again intensify its red tide watch to prevent the entry of shellfishes like mussels and oysters into the Dagupan Fish Market, where it will be distributed to various parts of Pangasinan and the north.

Dagupan, which also produces oysters, was always spared by red tide, being in the southeastern side of the Lingayen Gulf and too far away from Bolinao and Anda. (PNA)

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