BFAR expands red tide alert in Visayas, Mindanao

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THE Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) has issued a red tide alert for 14 areas in the country.

In its Shellfish Bulletin 29, Series of 2021 issued Friday, Nov. 5, 2021, the BFAR advised residents not to harvest, sell, buy or eat shellfish collected in the following areas, saying laboratory results of the BFAR and local government units show the shellfish there are still positive for Paralytic Shellfish Poison (PSP) or toxic red tide that is beyond the regulatory limit:

* Coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol Villareal, Cambatutay and San Pedro Bays in Western Samar;

* Carigara Bay (in Leyte) and the coastal waters of Leyte in Leyte; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar;

* Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; and

* Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur.

The BFAR also said the following additional areas below are now positive for the red tide toxin:

* Coastal waters of Baroy in Lanao del Norte;

* Coastal waters of Daram Island, Maqueda and Irong-Irong Bay in Western Samar;

* Cancabato Bay, Tacloban City in Leyte; and

* Coastal waters of Biliran Island.

In the bulletin, BFAR National Director Eduardo Gongona said “all types of shellfish and Acetes sp. or alamang gathered from the areas” indicated are not safe for human consumption.

However, fish, crabs, squids and shrimps are safe for human consumption “provided that they are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills and intestines are removed before cooking.”

The red tide alert for the coastal waters of Dauis and Tagbilaran City in Bohol, and Lianga Bay in Surigao del Sur has been in place since at least June 25, when the BFAR first added Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur to the list of red tide areas.

Last Oct. 21, the bureau expanded the red tide alert to include Villareal, Cambatutay and San Pedro Bays in Western Samar; Carigara Bay in Leyte and the coastal waters of Leyte in Leyte; and Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar.

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