• BFAR issues shellfish ban in Davao, Visayas

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    THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has warned against eating of shellfish after sampling of 16 coastal waters in the Visayas and some parts of Davao region showed positive for red tide toxin, or paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.

    The agency said all types of shellfish and acetes or alamang gathered and collected from the affected areas are not safe for human consumption.

    BFAR warned the public from catching and consuming shellfish from the coastal waters of Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; Dauis in Bohol; Daram in Daram Island, Irong-irong Bay; Milagros in Masbate; Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar; Carigara Bay in Leyte; Pilar and Sapian Bay in Capiz; Atlavas, Batan and New Washington in Batan Bay, Aklan; Naval in Biliran Island Province; and Gigantes Island in Carles, Iloilo.

    It also said that the coastal waters of Villareal and Maqueda in Western Samar are now positive for red tide toxin.

    In issuing Shellfish Bulletin No.33-2015 the bureau strictly prohibits the eating or selling of shellfish from the areas affected by the toxin until further advice.

    BFAR, however, said that other species—including fish, shrimps and crabs—are safe to eat provided they are fresh and thoroughly washed, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

    Other major fishing grounds in the country are free of the red tide toxins but monitoring will continue to protect the public.

    Red tide occurs when algae rapidly increase in numbers to the extent that it dominates the local planktonic or benthic community. The red tide toxin or blooms are caused by environmental conditions that promote explosive growth.

    Such high abundance can result from explosive growth caused by a metabolic response to a particular stimulus or from the physical concentration of a species in a certain area due to local patterns in water circulation, warm sea surface temperatures and high nutrient content.

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