‘Red tide’ still affects Visayas bays – BFAR

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THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) warned against consumption of shellfish collected in coastal areas which are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison (PSP) based on the latest laboratory results the bureau conducted.

According to a BFAR shellfish bulletin, the areas affected are the coastal waters of Daram Island, Irong-Irong Bay, Maqueda Bay and Villareal Bay in Western Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; Carigara Bay in Leyte; Inner Malampaya Sound, Taytay and Puerto Princesa Bay, Puerto Princesa City in Palawan and the coastal waters of Mandaon in Masbate.

Eduardo Gongona, BFAR undersecreatry for fisheries, said people should be warned not to harvest, sell, buy or eat shellfish carrying PSP beyond the regulatory limit.

Similarly, Cambatutay Bay in Western Samar is now positive for red tide toxin, according to the BFAR’s shellfish bulletin posted on November 10.

Gongona said all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the said areas are not safe for human consumption.

PSP symptoms are tingling (pins and needles feeling or paresthesia); numbness spreading from lips and mouth to face, neck and extremities; dizziness; arm and leg weakness, paralysis; respiratory failure and in severe cases, death; headache; nausea and vomiting.

However, the BFAR bulletin said fish, squid, shrimps and crabs are safe for human consumption provided they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.

The shellfish ban has been enforced for several months now and the bureau continues to monitor the presence of PSP on a large portion of coastal areas in the Visayas and parts of Palawan.

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