TACLOBAN CITY – Red tide toxins have been found in four bays in Samar Province for over a month.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR-8) announced on Tuesday that the coastal waters of Guiuan in Eastern Samar; Cambatutay Bay in Tarangnan, Samar; Irong-Irong Bay in Catbalogan City, Samar; and Matarinao Bay in General MacArthur, Quinapondan, Hernani and Salcedo in Eastern Samar are still gripped by red tide.
Local laboratories published the results of testing water and meat samples from these four bays taken on November 13.
Data indicate that toxic organisms have been detected in some of these bays since early October.
“According to the latest shellfish bulletin, there is no shellfish fishing ban in the region. However, these areas are subject to local red tide advisories. Seawater samples taken from these bays and coastal waters are positive Pirodinium bahamensea toxic microorganism causing paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP),” BFAR-8 said in a statement.
BFAR has asked the public to refrain from collecting, selling and eating all types of shellfish and Acetes sp., locally known as “alamang” or “hipon”, from these bays, even though they are not covered by the existing shellfish bulletin.
“Fish, squid, shrimp and crab are safe for human consumption provided they are fresh and thoroughly washed and their internal organs, such as gills and intestines, are removed before cooking,” it said.
BFAR also forwarded samples collected from these bays to its headquarters office for confirmatory testing and inclusion in future national shellfish bulletins.
The monitoring aims to check the possibility of a re-occurrence of this disease despite the lifting of the ban on shellfish fishing in some areas of the region.
Regular water sample checks cover the coastal waters of Daram, Zumarraga and Villareal Bay in Samar; San Pedro Bay in Samar; coastal waters of Leyte, Kalubia, Ormoc, Sogod, Carigara Bay and Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City, Leyte; and the coastal waters of Biliran Island.
These areas have had a history of red tide.
BFAR regularly analyzes water samples at its regional laboratory to ensure that shellfish collected from these areas are safe for human consumption.
Red tide alert in another bay of Samar, Cebu city
BFAR: A red tide alert remains in force for some coastal areas