TACLOBAN CITY – San Pedro Bay in Samar province has been cleared of red tide, making the seawaters of the Eastern Visayas region completely free from the toxic organism, the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) said in its advisory issued on Tuesday.
The fisheries bureau said negative results for paralytic shellfish poisoning were obtained from three consecutive weeks of sampling in Samar. Red tide recurred in San Pedro Bay six months ago.
“The public is hereby informed that shellfish samples harvested from San Pedro Bay in Samar are now safe for human consumption. Likewise, gathering or harvesting and marketing of shellfish from the above mentioned area are now permitted,” said BFAR Eastern Visayas Regional Director Demosthenes Escoto.
Under Shellfish Bulletin No. 7, all bays in Eastern Visayas are now red tide-free based on the latest sampling of BFAR.
Although the shellfish ban has been lifted in all areas in the region, the BFAR regularly monitors all coastal waters to check possible recurrence.
Included in regular water sample checks are the coastal waters of Daram, and Zumarraga, Cambatutay, Irong-irong, Maqueda, and Villareal Bays in Samar; coastal waters of Guiuan, and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; coastal waters of Leyte, Calubian, Ormoc, Sogod, Carigara Bay, and Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City in Leyte; and coastal waters of Biliran Island.
These areas had a history of red tide recurrence in the past years.
BFAR has been regularly analyzing water samples through its regional laboratory to ensure that shellfish gathered from these areas are safe for human consumption.
If seawaters turn positive for red tide, they gather and send meat to their national laboratory for thorough analysis.
Red tide is a term used to describe a phenomenon where the water is discolored by high algal biomass or the concentration of algae. (PNA)