MANILA, Philippines – The red tide alert over seven towns and one city along the coastal waters of Bataan are still up after laboratory tests conducted by the Bureau of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources (BFAR) showed that the waters are still positive for shellfish poison.
According to BFAR’s Shellfish Bulletin No. 26 released on Wednesday, affected by the ban are the municipalities of Mariveles, Limay, Orion, Pilar, Orani, Abucay and Samal and the city of Balanga.
Other coastal waters contaminated with red tide toxin are Dumanquillas Bay in Zamboanga del Sur; Masinloc Bay in Zambales; as well as Murcielagos Bay in Zamboanga del Norte and Misamis Occidental.
BFAR said that shellfish collected in these areas are still positive for paralytic shellfish poison that is beyond the regulatory limit.
The agency asked local government and local fisheries units in areas with red tide toxins to intensify its campaign against the collection, selling, transporting, and eating of the shellfishes.
It also advised consumers not to buy and eat all types of shellfish and alamang in the areas where the shellfish ban is imposed.
However, BFAR said that fishes, squids, shrimps and crabs are still safe for human consumption provided that these are fresh and washed thoroughly, and internal organs such as gills, intestines, and other internal organs be removed before cooking.
Red tide poisoning is caused by the presence of the toxic dinoflagellate known as Pyrodinium bahamense var compressum in shellfishes.
People who eat the contaminated shellfish may experience facial numbness, headache, dizziness, nausea, vomiting, breathing difficulty, abdominal cramps, weakness, and paralysis.
It could also cause death to those people who are very sensitive to the red tide toxin.
Last month, an elderly woman died and four were hospitalized for paralytic shellfish poisoning after eating “sulib” or sunset shell in Samal town, Bataan.
Meanwhile, BFAR said these areas remained free from toxic red tide – coastal waters of Cavite, Las Pinas, Paranaque, Navotas, and Bulacan in Manila Bay; coastal waters of Bolinao, Anda, Alaminos and Bani in Pangasinan; coastal waters of Milagros and Mandaon in Masbate; Juag Lagoon in Matnog and Sorsogon Bay in Sorsogon; Honda and Puerto bays in Puerto Princesa City, and Inner Malampaya Sound in Taytay, Palawan; coastal waters of Pilar, President Roxas, Pontevedra, Panay, Roxas City; Ivisan and Saplan in Capiz; coastal waters of E.B. Magalona, Pontevedra, Pulupandan, Valladolid, Talisay City, Silay City, Bacolod City, Hinigaran, Cadiz City, Victorias City, Bago City and San Enrique in Negros Occidental; Irong-irong, Maqueda, and Villareal Bays in Samar; Matarinao Bay in Eastern Samar; Ormoc, San Pedro, Cancabato and Carigara Bays in Leyte; Biliran waters in Biliran province; Hinatuan, Bislig and Lianga bays in Surigao del Sur; Balite Bay in Mati, Davao Oriental; and Taguines Lagoon in Benoni Mahinog, Camiguin Island.