Published: Wednesday 28 December, 2016

Areas Affected by Red Tide Identified as Toxin Kills 2 After Eating Shellfish

The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has issued a warning against red tide following the death of two individuals who ate red tide infected shellfish.

Red Tide

BFAR identifies current red tide areas. (PHOTO: BFAR)

According to BFAR, the bays around eastern Visayas are contaminated with red tide. Eating shellfish harvested from the said areas are, therefore, prohibited. Two persons in Biliran province have already died due to red tide poisoning. 

The red tide contaminated areas have been identified as follows: Irong Irong and Cambatutay Bays in Samar; Carigara Bay in Leyte; coastal waters of Leyte, Leyte; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; and coastal waters of Naval, Biliran. Calubian, Leyte has also been added to the list.

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BFAR reminded locals not to take the warning lightly because these may lead to death as proven in the case of a young girl and an old man who ate oysters harvested from contaminated waters. Aside from the two deaths, six other individuals were hospitalized due to paralytic shellfish poisoning.

“We reiterate our public advisory to refrain from eating, harvesting, marketing, and buying shellfishes and Acetes sp. from affected bays until such time that the shellfish toxicity level has gone down below the regulatory level,” said BFAR Regional Director Juan Albaladejo.

Albaladejo also called on local officials, especially those in the barangay level, to assist the agency in red tide information dissemination and the enforcement of advisories.

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Not all seafood are affected by the toxin. Only shellfish are banned.  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,” said the agency.

For the list of red tide SAFE areas, check out the latest BFAR bulletin HERE.

 





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