RED TIDE ALERT. A map showing the 13 bays in Eastern Visayas affected by the red tide as of Tuesday (Oct. 6, 2020). The government prohibits the gathering, trading, and consumption of shellfish in these areas. (Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources image)
TACLOBAN CITY – Red tide infestation continues in 13 bays in Eastern Visayas this week as the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) raised a stern warning against the consumption of shellfish meat.
In an advisory issued Tuesday, the BFAR regional office here confirmed that more bays in the Eastern Visayas region have been affected by red tide bloom.
The latest to be affected are the waters of the Biliran province.
Earlier, BFAR identified red tide contamination in the coastal waters of Guiuan, Eastern Samar; Villareal Bay in Samar; Cambatutay Bay in Tarangnan, Samar; coastal waters of Zumarraga, Samar; and coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte; Cancabato Bay in Tacloban City; Matarinao Bay stretching across the towns of General MacArthur, Hernani, Quinapondan, and Salcedo in Eastern Samar.
Also hit by red tide are Carigara Bay — Babatngon, San Miguel, Barugo, Carigara, and Capoocan in Leyte; Irong-irong Bay in Catbalogan City, Samar; San Pedro Bay in Basey, Samar; Maqueda Bay in the towns of Jiabong, Motiong, Paranas, San Sebastian, Calbiga, Pinabacdao, and Hinabangan in Samar and coastal waters of Daram, Samar.
“To protect the public, we issue this warning as precautionary advice to the public to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfishes,” BFAR said.
The fisheries bureau also banned the trading and consumption of Acetes sp. locally known as “alamang” harvested from said bays to avoid possible shellfish poisoning. Local government units are advised to regulate the gathering, marketing, and transport of shellfish from the infested areas.
“Fish, squid, shrimp, and crab are safe to eat “provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking”, the advisory added.
At least two children died and four of their family members were hospitalized last September after eating red tide infected green mussels in Bagacay village, Daram, Samar.
Killed by paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP) were an eight-year-old boy and his three-year-old brother while four other family members were admitted at a hospital in Catbalogan City, Samar.
Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae. PSP occurs from ingesting bivalve shellfish (such as mussels, oysters, and clams) that contain toxins. (PNA)