Red tide warning still up in 4 Eastern Visayas bays
TACLOBAN CITY – Four bays in Samar province remain positive for red tide toxins for over a month now.
The Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources in Eastern Visayas (BFAR-8) announced Tuesday that the coastal waters of Guiuan, 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 infested with red tide.
Local laboratories released the results of tested water and meat samples from these four bays taken on Nov. 13.
Records show that some of these bays had been positive for toxic organisms since early October.
“There is no shellfish ban in the region per the latest shellfish bulletin. However, these areas are under local red tide advisories. Seawater samples collected from these bays and coastal waters are positive for Pyrodinium bahamense, a toxic microorganism that causes paralytic shellfish poisoning (PSP),” BFAR-8 said in a statement.
BFAR has asked the public to refrain from gathering, selling, and eating all types of shellfish and Acetes sp., locally known as “alamang” or “hipon” from these bays despite not being covered by the existing shellfish bulletin.
“Fish, squids, shrimps, and crabs are safe for human consumption, provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and their internal organs, such as gills and intestines, are removed before cooking,” it said.
BFAR also submitted samples collected from these bays to their main office for confirmatory testing and inclusion in future national shellfish bulletins.
The monitoring is intended to check the possible recurrence despite the lifting of the shellfish ban in some areas in the region.
The 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, 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.
BFAR regularly analyzes water samples through its regional laboratory to ensure that shellfish gathered from these areas are safe for human consumption.