Careful: “Kinhason” hit with Red Tide in Bais

The provincial red tide monitoring team has rec-ommended for the continued ban of shell fish (kinhason)  collection and or consumption from the entire Tambobo bay area in Siaton and North Bais Bay in Bais City until further notice.

This is  due to the presence of red tide and remained unsafe to the public. While collection and consumption of shellfish from Siit Bay in Siaton and South Bais Bay in Bais City and Panam-angan river in Tanjay city should be taken with caution.

The recommendations form part of the report of the red tide monitoring team dated July 12, 2020 which was submitted to the provincial agriculturist Nestor Villaflores. According to the team leader Wilmencita R. Pialago, a marine biologist, the red tide causing dinoflagellate is still in existence in the entire Tambobo bay and Siit bays of Siaton with highest cell density counts of 1,119 cells per liter of water and 36 cells per liter of water respectively.

Similar species of dinoflagellate is also present in the entire North and South bays of Bais City with highest cell density counts of 1,178 cells per liter of water and 454 cells per liter of water respectively.

Presence of useless and harmless microalgae were noted in the water samples of both bays. It was likewise noted that there was a bloom of a species of diatom in North Bais bay. According to the report, samples of shell fish from Tambobo, North and South Bais Bays and Panam-angan river were collected and processed last July 6 and 8, 2020 for rapid shell meat analysis using the Scotia Method of shell meat analysis, the results of which revealed that the the samples taken from Tambobo bay and North Bais bay are positive for red tide while samples of shell meat from South Bais bay and Panam-angan river are negative of red tide

Although, the result of the samples taken from South Bais bay and Panam-angan river are negative, perpetual monitoring of the area is necesssary since the species can multiply exponentially if environmental factors favor its growth, Pialago reported.

She said three consecutive negative results shall be obtained to ensure accuracy of the outcome. In an interview, Pialago stressed red tide are caused by dinoflagellates that are microscopic plants, so they need fertilizers for growth like nitrates and phosphates, blaming the same to chemical effluents from nearby industrial plants is not possible because they will surely die. She further explained, the red tide organisms will bloom usually after a long drought when the condition is favorable to their growth.

For her part, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) provincial head Florencia Mipana said Tambobo bay has red tide when there is no single industrial plant in its surroundings, due to insinuations the red tide in North Bais Bay was caused by waste discharges from industrial plants nearby. He said red tide cells can hybernate for long years until triggered by a favorable condition that caused it to bloom. She considered the red tide phenomenon a nature’s way of conserving the shells and regulate its over catching. The first red tide occurence in Negros Oriental was in 2002, then in 2006, and less than a month in 2017 and the recent which is already more than one month. The marine biologist further disclosed that red tide as micro algae is “pagkaon sa isda” that can be digested but for the shellfish, there’s no way it can be removed from its meat, so its not fit for human consumption, it can result to poisoning. “makaon ra ang isda kay makuha ra man ang hasang og tinai—amg hasang maoy mosala sa red tide but sa shellfish dili makuha ang tinai, diretsong makaon busa delikado og makahilo,” Pialago reported.

The Provincial Agriculture Office (PAO) has confirmed that army worms has attacked several corn fields in Negros Oriental the last few days as soon as the rains come. Initial reports received by the provincial agriculturist Nestor Villaflores showed seven local government units already affected by army worm infestations. These the corn fields of Sibulan, Bacong, Zamboanguita, Pamplona, San Jose, Ayungon and in Mabinay. In an interview, PAO information officer Jade Darong, however cannot yet give estimates as to the extent of damage on crops as a result of the infestation. Like the red tide phenomenon, army worms normally comes out of hybernation after a long drought, according to experts. According to Darong, chemical sprays are available to counter the spread of the army worm infestation. (By CHOY GALLARDE)