Balete bay red tide alert lifted

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) Davao region has lifted the red tide alert covering Balete Bay in Mati City, Davao Oriental.

BFAR Davao Region Fish Production Chief Raul Millana said water sampling earlier this month showed that shellfish from the bay turned out negative of parasitic poisoning.Thus, he said, shellfish from the bay are now safe for consumption.

Millana said the toxicity caused by an overgrowth in aquatic microorganisms called “dinoflagellates” has decreased to safe levels. The death of the microorganisms which triggered the phenomenon known as algal bloom could have resulted from the drought, he added.

However, BFAR Davao Region Director Fatma Idris said that if not addressed, the siltation which caused the overgrowth of microorganisms will continue to trigger the red tide in Balete Bay.

The result of the latest water sampling on Balete Bay was released on March 19, more than three weeks after the release of an earlier test that showed the bay was still affected by red tide. BFAR Davao Region and the local government of Mati City conducted a weekly sampling to ensure the safety of the waters.

“We have sampling stations there and the previous laboratory results showed high toxicity in Balete Bay,” Millana said.

Balete Bay was listed as safe, along with six other bays in Mindanao such as Dumaguillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur, Tantanang Bay in Zamboanga Sibugay, Murdelagos in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental, and Hinatuan, Bislig, and Lianga Bays in Surigao del Sur.(lac)


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