Red tide alert up in Pangasinan, Pampanga towns
DAGUPAN CITY—Aquatic microorganisms causing the paralytic shellfish poison (PSP), or red tide toxins were detected in the waters off Pangasinan and Pampanga towns, prompting the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) to impose a shellfish ban in the affected areas.
Nestor Domenden, BFAR Ilocos region director, on Thursday said the PSP found in shellfish samples from the villages of Baybay Norte and Cabalitian in Sual town, Pangasinan, exceeded the regulatory limit.
In an advisory, Domenden warned against eating, gathering or harvesting, transporting and marketing shellfish and “alamang” (acetes shrimp) from the affected areas until the toxicity level had gone below the regulatory limit.
But he said fish, crab, squid and shrimps harvested from those areas remained safe for human consumption if these were washed and cooked properly.
Red tide is a phenomenon in which the water is discolored by high algal biomass, or concentration of algae. Health experts said red tide toxin could cause gastrointestinal, respiratory and neurological disorders in humans.
“Regular monitoring of the affected areas is being conducted by [the BFAR Ilocos] in collaboration with the local governments to safeguard public health and protect the fishery industry,” Domenden said.
This was the second time that red tide hit the Pangasinan coastal waters this year.
On April 27, the waters off Anda and Bolinao towns were found to have been affected by red tide but these had been cleared of the toxins after three weeks.
In Pampanga province, Wilfredo Cruz, BFAR Central Luzon director, also imposed a ban after shellfish samples taken from waters off the coastal areas tested positive for red tide toxins.
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