BACOLOD CITY — Local authorities have warned residents Wednesday of the occurrence of red tide in some of the city’s coastal waters.

Acting Mayor Greg Gasataya issued the warning after laboratory test results from the Provincial Marine Bio-Toxin Testing Center of the Office of the Provincial Agriculturist showed “a progressive increase in algal population in our coastal waters, hence, shellfish are expected to become toxic at anytime.”

“The public is strongly advised to refrain from eating all types of shellfishes and acetes sp. (shrimp) gathered from the coastal waters of the city until further notification,” Gasataya said.

However, fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption provided it is fresh and washed thoroughly and that its internal organs – gills and intestines – are removed before cooking, the advisory added.

The report of Negros Occidental Agriculturist Igmedio Tabianan submitted to Gasataya added that the sea water samples were taken from the city’s coastal waters from December 14 and 17.

Tested positive for red tide were the waters in Punta Taytay, Magsungay, and Reclamation Area as it contained the toxic algal species of Pyrodinium bahamense var. compressum, the report said.

However, the waters of Banago Port and Sibucao area were tested negative.

The Office of the Provincial Agriculturist will continue to monitor the waters in the city to provide the public with the latest red tide status, Tabianan added. PNA/