By Bohol Standard
Apparently beaming with pride for having no reported cases of red tide, Gov. Edgar M. Chatto personally hosted the welcoming activities and reception of delegates to the 3rd National Conference on Harmful Algal Bloom (HAB) and East HAB 7 Workshop at the Bohol Tropics early this week.
Spearheading the six-day global awareness on the ill effects of HAB was PhilHAB Chair, Prof. Rhodora V. Azanza, of the Marine Science Institute of the University of the Philippines (MSI-UP).
HAB, locally known as red tide, refers to the marine and freshwater algal blooms phenomenon that, according to Prof. Azanza, may cause massive fishkill, contaminate seafood and alter the normal course of the environment.
“The Philippines, East Asia and the rest of the world have experienced HABs to levels that can be considered as disasters,” Azanza added.
If HABs are not well-managed, impacts on human health escalate, and functioning water and ecosystems are impaired, hence threatening sustainable resources of bodies of water.
Gov. Chatto informed delegates that Bohol wants to contribute to national development by becoming a major player, not only in the region, but in the country.
“We always believe that science and technology expands the production possibility curves of any community; hence, new science and technology mentioned and discovered can indeed enhance also positively the growth of our community,” the governor of the country’s best-governed province pointed out.
It has been confirmed that Bohol has no cases of red tide, and “we dread to see the day that we’ll have it, God forbid.”
This 3rd national confab, with delegates from the Philippines and other Asian countries like Japan, Korea and China, will serve to disseminate technologies proven effective in HAB management which the general public could benefit from.
Sec. Mario Montejo of the Department of Science and Technology (DOST) and Hon. Alfredo Pascual, Systems President of UP, have equally decisive stands to embark on new technology and solutions development, very important elements for research and outreach programs for HAB management.
Global and national concerns for the negative and economic effects of HABs are increasing. Currently, toxic algal blooms are being experienced in Bolinao, Pangasinan and in Masinloc, Zambales.
Prof. Azanza laid emphasis on the blooms of Pyrodinium bahamense var compressum, a Paralytic Shellfish Poisoning (PSP) causative organism which are still occurring in previously affected areas in the Philippines.
Several fish killing red tides have been recorded in the country and further studies have shown that areas with mariculture are prone to HABs.