Press Release
April 6, 2011


Amid warnings of a new wave of red tide hitting several coastal areas in the Philippines, Senator Edgardo J. Angara urged the public to listen to monitoring reports and to be more careful in catching and preparing seafood for consumption.

"Because we live in an archipelago, our nation boasts of a very rich marine environment, fueling the fishing industry and providing a constant source of food for our people.

However, one of the few disadvantages of being surrounded by so much water is our susceptibility to water-borne toxins such as the red tide which we see every year. Since we cannot avoid these, the only option is to be informed and prepared when it hits our shores," said Angara.

Water taken from five provinces in Central Luzon and Northern Mindanao have tested positive for the red-hued toxic algae. Authorities have warned the residents of the affected provinces to avoid eating shellfish as these are the first to become poisonous after being exposed to the red tide.

According to Angara, head of the Senate Committee on Science and Technology, marine research facilities should be set up throughout the country to study this phenomenon.

Earlier this year, Angara filed Senate Bill No. 2728-- An Act Amending Republic Act No. 9441, Otherwise Known as an Act Establishing a Marine Research and Breeding Center in the Municipality of Baler, Province of Aurora, Appropriating Funds Therefor and for Other Purposes.

This bill seeks to improve the existing law creating the Aurora Marine Research and Development Institute (AMRDI), placing it under the supervision of the University of the Philippines Marine Science Institute.

The AMRDI, working together with the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources of the Department of Agriculture, will conduct research aimed towards the improvement of the country's fishing industry and will contribute to the nationwide database on marine resources.

"In a country with such abundant aquatic resources and unparalleled marine biodiversity, a research institute like this could provide crucial insight on how to preserve and protect our marine ecosystems. The fishery industry would benefit as well through R&D programs geared to boost the quality and quantity of each catch," explained Angara.

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