By Jezza A. Nepomoceno
Carles Mayor Sigfred Betita declared a State of Calamity in the municipality as the town’s Gigantes Island is currently experiencing a red tide.
“The red tide [has] crippled livelihood and food security, not only of the inhabitants of the island, but as well as those on the mainland,” said the mayor.
A red tide is caused by an overabundance of a certain algae, which can discolor the water and be toxic or harmful to people, fish, marine life, and birds.
Betita noted, the situation is debilitating to the island, as it is known for fishing and shellfish harvesting.
The mayor previously met with Iloilo Governor Arthur Defensor, Sr. and Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources-Region VI (BFAR-6) Director Remia Appari to formulate plans to assist local fishing communities, in particular, Barangays Granada, Asluman, Gabi, and Lantangan.
The governor said the Iloilo Office of the Provincial Agriculturist and the Provincial Social Welfare and Development can provide goods and assistance, while BFAR-6 will implement a cash-for-work program.
A red tide also hit the said island back in January of this year.
At the time, BFAR warned of a paralytic poison present in that particular area of the Visayan Sea./JAN, WDJ