BFAR TO LOOK INTO ‘CORAL BLEACHING’ IN NEGOR
HEALTHY CORALS. A Green Sea Turtle glides over healthy coral formations in Apo Island, Dauin in south Negros Oriental. (File photo by Danny Ocampo)
DUMAGUETE CITY — The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) in Negros Oriental will look into the reported coral bleaching event in the province following the Philippine Coral Bleaching Watch’s “orange alert level” post on its Facebook page.
Provincial Fisheries Officer Florencia Mepania, in an interview Friday, however, said she does not have any idea yet about the occurrence, and neither has her office received any report on the supposed coral bleaching event.
“Pero mu contact usa ko sa mga local government units ug unsa gyud ang status (Nevertheless, I will contact the local government units on the status) on the supposed coral bleaching event,” Mepania said.
The Quezon City-based group said on its Facebook page on Wednesday that “almost the entire Philippines in on Bleaching Alert Level Watch” (yellow color).
It further said at that the Southern Tañon Strait (near Bais City and Bindoy) and Southern Negros, the Bleaching Alert Level Warning has been raised to orange.
There were graphic images that showed maps with the alert level statuses that were screen grabs from the United States’ National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Coral Reef watch, the said social media post said.
Mepania explained that BFAR’s coverage area is the southern portion of Negros Oriental while DENR covers the Tañon Strait, which lies between the islands of Cebu and Negros.
Nevertheless, she said that she will also make some inquiries in the Bais area.
The Philippine Coral Bleaching Watch, meanwhile, appealed to the public to report any coral bleaching events in their areas, and for divers to take pictures.
It also announced that it is closely watching the possible occurrence of the El Niño phenomenon in the next few months as it will likely cause bleaching in Philippine Reefs.
“El Niño happens when sea surface temperature in the Pacific Ocean rises above-normal temperatures for an extended period of time,” the group said. (PNA)