• BFAR widens red tide areas

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    The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has widened anew its red tide warning after sampling in five coastal waters in the country showed positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.

    In its Shellfish Bulletin No.18-2015, BFAR warned the public from catching and consuming shellfish from coastal waters of Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; Mandaon in Masbate; Irong-irong Bay and Cambatutay in Western Samar; and Dauis in Bohol as the areas remained affected by the toxin.

    BFAR also said that the coastal waters of Milagros in Masbate are now positive for the red tide toxin.

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

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

    Other major fishing grounds in the country, besides the aforementioned areas, continued to be unaffected by the toxins.

    Red tide occurs when algae rapidly increase in numbers to the extent that it dominates the local planktonic or benthic community. 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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